Single HPV vaccine dose may be effective against cervical cancer

February 10, 2020

New research indicates that a single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is as effective as multiple doses for preventing preinvasive cervical disease, which can later develop into cervical cancer. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and persistent infection with certain types of the virus can cause cervical cancer. To prevent infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adolescents--both boys and girls--under the age of 15 years receive a two-dose schedule of the HPV vaccine. To determine the effectiveness of other dose schedules, Ana M. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and her colleagues examined information on females aged 9 to 26 years who were unvaccinated or who received one or more HPV vaccine doses between January 2006 and June 2015.

The analysis included 133,082 females (66,541 vaccinated and 66,541 unvaccinated). For females ages 15 to 19 years, those who received one, two, or three doses of the HPV vaccine had lower rates of preinvasive cervical disease than adolescents who were unvaccinated. Within five years, 2.65 percent of unvaccinated teens aged 15 to 19 years developed preinvasive cervical disease, compared with 1.62 percent, 1.99 percent, and 1.86 percent in the one-, two- and three-dose groups, respectively. The risk of preinvasive cervical disease was 36 percent, 28 percent, and 34 percent lower for adolescents who received one, two, and three doses, respectively, compared with adolescents who were unvaccinated.

For the youngest (less than 15 years old) and oldest age groups (20 years and older), the investigators did not find significant differences among the vaccinated groups in terms of risk for preinvasive cervical disease.

"This study shows the impact of vaccinating at younger ages and its lasting long-term protection against cervical cancer," said Dr. Rodriguez. "It is important to educate parents about the need to vaccinate their children."

An accompanying editorial discusses the public health implications of the study's findings. "If one dose of HPV vaccine was sufficient for effective protection, HPV vaccine implementation and scale-up would require less logistics..., available doses could extend further, and the overall cost would be lower," the authors wrote.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month.
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Additional Information

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Full Citations:

"Comparison of the long-term impact and clinical outcomes of fewer doses versus standard doses of human papillomavirus vaccine in the United States: a database study." Ana M. Rodriguez, Burak Zeybek, Micah Vaughn, Jordan Westra, Sapna Kaul, Jane R. Montealegre, Yu-Li Lin, and Yong-Fang Kuo, PhD. CANCER; Published Online: February 10, 2020 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.32700).

URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.32700

"More evidence suggesting that one dose human papillomavirus vaccination may be effective." Julia ML Brotherton and Karin Sundström. CANCER; Published Online: February 10, 2020 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.32696).

URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.32696

Author Contact: Christopher Smith Gonzalez, of The University of Texas communications office, at chrissmi@utmb.edu or +1 409-772-8790.

About the Journal

CANCER is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from worldwide sources for all oncologic specialties. The objective of CANCER is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of information among oncologic disciplines concerned with the etiology, course, and treatment of human cancer. CANCER is published on behalf of the American Cancer Society by Wiley and can be accessed online.

Follow us on Twitter @JournalCancer

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

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