Entries in Human Papillomavirus (11)


HPV Vaccination: Sooner Is Better, Study Says

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- Vaccinating teenage girls against the human papillomavirus or HPV may be too little too late, according to a new study that found more than half of girls 13 and older already have the infection.

The three-dose vaccine, proven to slash the risk of HPV infection -- the number one risk factor for cervical cancer -- is recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  But some doctors delay the shots, thinking pre-teens have a low risk for the sexually transmitted infection.

"It really is important for physicians to offer the vaccine as recommended to girls that are 11 and 12 years old," said Dr. Lea Widdice, assistant professor of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study, published Tuesday in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.  "The vaccine is very safe and highly effective, but it works best if we can give it to girls and boys before they're sexually active."

Widdice and colleagues tested 259 young women aged 13 to 21 for HPV during clinic visits for their first vaccine doses.  Among 190 who were sexually active, 70 percent were already infected.

"The vaccine can only prevent the infection," said Widdice, warning that the vaccine cannot cure someone who's already HPV-positive.

Even girls who had sexual contact without intercourse were at risk, with 11 percent testing positive for the virus.

"HPV is different from other sexually transmitted infections in that it appears to be transmitted a lot more easily," said Widdice.  "Although it's most efficiently transmitted through sexual intercourse, it can definitely be transmitted through genital skin-to-skin touching."

The study adds to mounting evidence that early vaccination can curb HPV infection, which beyond cervical cancer is also linked to genital warts and cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and throat.

"It supports the recommendation that the HPV vaccine be given to girls when they're 11 and 12 years old," said Widdice.

The CDC also recommends the vaccine for boys and men aged 9 through 26.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


HPV Vaccine Protects Even Those Who Skip It

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- The vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV) is not only effective in decreasing the rate of high risk types of HPV infections in girls and women, but it also shows evidence of bestowing what is known as "herd immunity" -- an indirect protection against the virus for those who have not been vaccinated -- in a community at large, researchers said on Monday.

Researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center compared HPV infection rates in women who received the HPV vaccine to infection rates in those who had not.

What they found was that women who received the HPV vaccine cut their likelihood of having an HPV infection by 69 percent.  The surprise was that the likelihood of HPV infection among women in the same community who had not gotten their HPV shots also dropped -- by 49 percent.

"I was surprised at the decrease in the prevalence of HPV and the effectiveness of the vaccine in a real-world setting," said Dr. Jessica Kahn, lead author of the study, which appeared Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

But Kahn said that while the finding was encouraging, it should not deter parents from getting their children vaccinated.

"Although the study shows evidence of early herd immunity, the results cannot be generalized to imply you shouldn't get vaccinated," she said.  Kahn said it is "still very important... there is no way of knowing you are one of those protected unless you actually get the vaccine."

Other experts in infectious diseases agreed that the study demonstrates how important it is to get vaccinated.

"I think it is important to point out to potential vaccine recipients that herd immunity is routinely achieved when greater than 80 percent of the population has been vaccinated," said Robert Rose, professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.  "Thus, it is incumbent upon immune-competent individuals to participate in the vaccine effort in order to protect those who are in one way or another immune-compromised."

HPV is responsible for the most common sexually transmitted infections.  There are more than 100 types of HPV, including more than 40 high-risk types of infection that are responsible for causing approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers, genital warts, vaginal and anal cancers and a growing number of head and neck cancers, especially in men.

Since these viruses have the ability to cause such widespread disease, current recommendations from the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices include vaccination against HPV for both males and females ages 9 to 26.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


HPV Vaccine May Prevent Recurrence of Precancerous Conditions

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(VIENNA, Austria) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been touted as a way to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts, but a new study suggests the vaccine may also prevent women diagnosed with precancers from developing recurrences.

Researchers randomly assigned more than 1,350 women diagnosed with genital warts or certain precancerous conditions to receive either three injections of the HPV vaccine or a placebo.  The women were followed for about four years.

Women who received the vaccine had a 46.2 percent lower risk of developing another HPV-related disease after treatment for their genital warts or their precancerous condition.

Typically, women treated for these types of conditions are at risk for subsequent disease later, but the study offers evidence that "vaccination offered substantial benefit" in terms of lowering that risk, wrote the international team of authors, led by Elmar Joura, an associate professor at the University of Vienna in Austria.

Experts not involved with the research told ABC News that the research is significant because it suggests for the first time that the HPV vaccine may offer benefits beyond prevention.

"We always thought about the vaccine from the prevention, and this suggests it can lower the risk of developing a second episode of disease," said Dr. Anna Giuliano, director of the Center for Infection Research in Cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

Giuliano cited another study published online in January that found the HPV vaccine reduces the recurrence of abnormal anal cell growths in men.

"We're now seeing a pattern with cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal dysplasias," she said.  "There are prevention effects beyond the first case of disease."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CDC Urges HPV Vaccine for Boys

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- All 11- and 12-year-old boys should be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, according to new vaccination guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The guidelines serve as the official recommendation of the conclusions of a CDC advisory panel vote in October that boys should be routinely vaccinated for HPV, which has been recommended since 2006 for girls of the same age with the aim of preventing cervical cancer.

The agency also recommends that 13- to 21-year-old males and 13- to 26-year-old females get the three-dose vaccination, if they have not already been vaccinated. Men ages 22 to 26 “may be vaccinated.”

Experts have noted that increasing evidence shows that the vaccine is highly effective in preventing HPV, leading many to support universal vaccination.

“Girls acquire the infection from boys and it seems appropriate, even fair, for boys to share responsibility for maximizing community [herd] immunity,” Dr. Lawrence Stanberry, chief pediatrician at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, told ABC News in October.

Calls for boys and men to get the HPV vaccine increased last week after a report that nearly 7 percent of U.S. teens and adults have oral HPV, a virus which can lead to oral cancer. The report said men were three times more likely to have oral HPV than women.

The vaccines currently available, like Merck’s Gardasil and Glaxo SmithKline’s Cervarix, have only been tested for their effectiveness against the viruses that lead to cervical, vulvar and anal cancers.

The CDC’s latest recommendations also say all persons with Type 1 or 2 diabetes should get the vaccine for hepatitis B. Dr. Sarah Schillie, a CDC scientist, said that advice came about after several outbreaks of hepatitis B in long-term care facilities that began in the 1990s and occurred more frequently in recent years. Schillie said the outbreaks were the result of improper infection control and shared blood glucose monitoring equipment.

The guidelines were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CDC Panel: All Young Boys Should Get HPV Vaccine

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- All males starting at age 11 should receive the HPV vaccine Gardasil to protect themselves against sexually transmitted forms of human papillomavirus, the cause of most cervical and anal cancers as well as most mouth and throat cancers, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee voted Tuesday.

Thirteen members of the committee voted in favor of extending the HPV vaccine to young boys, and one member abstained. The recommendation now goes to the director of the CDC and the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for final approval.

The CDC already recommends routinely immunizing girls with a three-dose vaccine beginning at age 11 or 12, before they become sexually active, although they can be vaccinated as young as age 9. The agency has previously issued a so-called permissive recommendation giving males from ages 9 through 26 the option of receiving the vaccine.

The prospect of requiring that preteen boys and girls get vaccinated against a sexually transmitted infection has drawn the sharpest outcry from some parents, who fear that vaccinating preteens might encourage promiscuous behavior. Vaccination policies also have become an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign, with several GOP candidates objecting to mandates for HPV vaccination.

In a background memo leading up to the vote, the CDC estimated that routinely vaccinating 11 and 12-year-old boys would likely be cost-effective. If 1 million 12-year-old boys were vaccinated, over the course of a lifetime, they would prevent 2,381 cases of mouth and throat cancer; 633 cases of anal cancer and 169 cases of penile cancer, assuming the vaccine was 75 percent effective against those conditions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


HPV Linked to Heart Disease in Women

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(GALVESTON, Texas) -- Women with cancer-causing strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) may be at increased risk for heart disease, even if they have no risk factors for the disease.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston looked at survey data for nearly 2,500 women, 23 percent of whom had cancer-causing strains of HPV. They found that women with the cancer-causing HPV were more likely to have heart disease than those with non-cancer-related strains or those without HPV.

The researchers say more attention should be paid to identifying potential heart problems in women with HPV. These findings could also suggest that the HPV vaccine could potentially prevent heart disease.

The study, which only looks at these women’s information at one point in time, doesn’t show a cause-and-effect relationship. Researchers also depended on women’s report of their own health, and trusted the women to collect their own HPV samples.

The research was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann Comments Spark HPV ‘Retardation’ Debate

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill.) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., made HPV vaccinations a sticking point in Monday night’s Republican presidential debate.

Bachmann slammed Gov. Rick Perry for his 2007 executive order mandating that all sixth-grade Texas girls be required to get vaccinations against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus linked to cervical cancer.  Bachmann said Perry’s mandate was a “government injection through executive order” and a “violation of a liberty interest.”

She charged that Perry’s order also endangered young girls who might experience negative side effects to the vaccine.

Bachmann’s statements elicited a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation.  There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement.  Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record… This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.”

Perry said his 2007 order was “a mistake,” as he did earlier this year.  But he also defended his decision, saying that it was an attempt to protect young women against cervical cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost all cervical cancer is caused by HPV.

The Texas legislature voted to override Perry’s order, and the law was never enacted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


HPV Vaccine Protects against Anal Cancer in Women

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- New research offers women one more reason to get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).  In addition to lowering the risk of cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer, the vaccine also protects against anal cancer.

It is believed that about 90 percent of anal cancer is caused by an HPV infection.  Although anal cancer is rare, it has become more prevalent in recent years in the United States, nearly doubling in prevalence in the past decade.  About 5,300 people are diagnosed with anal cancer each year, the majority of whom are women, according to the American Cancer Society.

"I think we can expect to see a profound reduction in anal cancer among women vaccinated," Aimée Kreimer, the lead author on the study and investigator at the National Cancer Institute, said.

"We know that screening for cervical works because rates have been plummeting, but for anal cancer, rates are on the rise and there is no official screening process for anal cancer in women.  With the vaccine, we can have women getting vaccinated for cervical cancer who will get this added benefit of protection against anal cancer," Kreimer said.

In a study of more than 4,000 women aged 18 to 25, researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health found that the HPV vaccine was protective against anal cancer in 62 percent of women.  Among women who had no previous exposure to HPV infection, the rate of prevention was even higher at 84 percent.  Researchers followed women for four years after the first vaccination.

"This is a significant study because we are accumulating evidence that anal cancers in men and women can be prevented by HPV vaccination," Dr. Kevin Ault, associate professor of gynecology and infectious disease at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said.

Although the Food and Drug Administration approved the HPV vaccine for the prevention of anal cancer in boys and girls ages 9 to 26 in December of 2010, the focus of research at that time was in preventing anal cancer in men who have sex with men.  What's exciting about this research, said Dr. Samuel Katz, professor and chairman of the department of pediatrics at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, is that now there's evidence showing that it's preventative in women as well.

Further strengthening the findings is the study's finding that the vaccine is effective even in women 18 and older.  Current recommendations suggest that girls get vaccinated as early as age 9 in order to increase the likelihood that they will be vaccinated before they become sexually active and might be exposed to HPV.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


HPV Affects Half of Adult Men, Study Shows

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- People often think the transmission of human papilloma virus (HPV) is something that endangers women, but a new study shows there may be a good reason to aim similar prevention messages at men.

Researchers found that about half of adult men could have HPV.

"We found that a big proportion -- about 50 percent -- of men have genital HPV infection of one type or another," said Anna Giuliano, lead researcher and chair of the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida.

HPV is a common sexually transmitted virus that can cause a number of different cancers in men and women.

"I've been studying HPV in women for many years ... but I realized that we knew almost nothing about HPV infections in men," said Giuliano.

The findings, she said, indicate that men need to be much more aware of the risks of HPV, and also could help determine whether widespread vaccination of men and boys is a cost-effective option.

Back in October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the vaccine Gardasil to prevent genital warts caused by certain types of HPV in men and boys, ages nine to 26.  The Centers for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine vaccination for girls ages 11 and 12.

Researchers tested more than 1,100 healthy men from Brazil, Mexico and the United States every six months for an average of two years.  Their results indicated that the number of new infections among the men was high, and that risk stays with men throughout their lives.

Giuliano and her colleagues also found a connection between new infections and sexual activity.  Risk was higher among men who had many sexual partners and men who engaged in anal sex with different partners.  There were no differences in risk among different age groups, but they did find that older men tended to get rid of HPV infections faster than younger men did.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and appears in the current issue of The Lancet.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: HPV Vaccine Prevents Infection, Genital Warts in Men

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WALTHAM, Mass.) -- The human papillomavirus vaccine is effective in preventing the spread of the virus and the development of genital warts in teenage boys and men, according to a new study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study included 4,065 males aged 16-26 from 18 countries and found that the vaccine prevented them from infection with four strains of HPV -- HPV-6, 11, 16 and 18 -- and developing the external genital warts associated with them.  Participants in the study were divided into separate groups in which some received all three vaccinations while others received a placebo.

In one population where a participant's HPV status was unknown, the study found that 36 genital warts were seen among males who received the vaccine, as opposed to 89 seen in a placebo group, amounting to a efficacy of 60.2 percent.

Gardasil, the first HPV vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, has been widely pushed and advertised towards girls and women between the ages of 9 and 26.  It was later approved in 2009 by the FDA to be administered to males also ranging in age from 9 to 26, but boys and men have since lacked the same encouragement their female counterparts received to take the shot.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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