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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
AUSTRIA: Prevention: HPV Vaccine Shows Reduced Recurrence
Nicholas Bakalar
April 4, 2012
New York Times (04.03.12) - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Vaccination against human papillomavirus may significantly reduce the likelihood of virus-related disease even in women who have undergone surgery for HPV-caused cervical cancer, a new study suggests.

From a large randomized trial of the HPV vaccine's efficacy, researchers chose a cohort of 1,350 women ages 15 to 26 who had had surgery for cervical cancer. Among the cohort, 587 had received the vaccine, while 763 received a placebo.

Vaccine recipients were 46 percent less prone to HPV-related disease for two subsequent years. Among those with the most serious cancers, risk was reduced by 64 percent among vaccinated versus unvaccinated women.

Lead author Dr. Elmar A. Joura said it is widely believed the vaccine is effective only when administered before sexual debut, and in fact it is most effective under those circumstances. But Joura, a Medical University of Vienna associate professor of gynecology, also touts its importance for women who have had HPV-related infections and are at high risk for recurrence.

"Regardless of your age or your history, a vaccination can prevent new disease," said Joura.

The study, "Effect of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Quadrivalent Vaccine in a Subgroup of Women with Cervical and Vulvar Disease: Retrospective Pooled Analysis of Trial Data," was published in BMJ (2012;344:e1401).

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