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An effective barrier against various cancers

An effective barrier against various cancers

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has proven effective not only against the infection, but also against several types of cancer, including cervical and head and neck cancer. This finding was presented May 23 at a press conference in preparation for the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which will be held May 31-June 4 in Chicago, Illinois.

Reducing the risk of cancer in men

The study found that men who received the HPV vaccine reduced their risk of developing head and neck cancer by 56%. Dr. Glenn J. said: Hanna, director of the Center for Therapeutic Cancer Innovation at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “We know that the HPV vaccine reduces rates of oral HPV infection, but this study shows that in boys and men in particular, vaccination reduces the risk of Oropharyngeal cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is a prevention against cancer.

The study, led by Jefferson Declo of Thomas Jefferson University, analyzed data from the US TriNetX database and compared cancer risks between 1,706,539 vaccinated patients and 1,706,538 unvaccinated patients, aged 9 to 39 years. The results showed that vaccinated men had a 54% lower risk of all HPV-related cancers and a 56% lower risk of head and neck cancer compared to unvaccinated men.

The effect of the vaccine on women

For women, HPV vaccination reduced the risk of all HPV-related cancers by 27% and the risk of cervical cancer by 54%. Although the 33% reduction in head and neck cancer risk among vaccinated women was not statistically significant, other benefits were observed. Vaccinated women were less likely to develop precancerous lesions of the cervix and more often required surgical procedures to treat and prevent these lesions.

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Meaning and next steps

Despite these promising results, HPV vaccination rates remain relatively low in the United States, with less than 60% of teens ages 15 to 17 vaccinated in 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Schuchter stressed the importance of improving these rates to reduce the burden of cancer: “It is important that young girls and boys are vaccinated to prevent infection with HPV, and thus reduce the risk of cancer. »

Jefferson Declo also highlighted the need to find effective interventions to increase HPV vaccination rates, saying this is essential to reducing HPV-related cancers in the United States. Next steps will include examining outcomes in vaccinated people over the age of 39, analyzing the effects of the vaccine based on age of vaccination, and identifying population groups least likely to get vaccinated.

This study received no external funding and represents a major advance in understanding the overall impact of HPV vaccination.

“We now have a strong public health case to persuade adolescents (two doses two months apart between ages 11 and 14, and a third dose six months later if started after age 15) of both sexes to get the HPV vaccination.” Antoine Flaholt X