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Brupbacher prize to Nubia Munoz and Sir Richard Peto
Date:2/12/2009

cer has risen in the meantime, and with modern methods, the HPV-DNA can be detected in more than 98% of all cervix tumours. Not least of all thanks to the work performed by Muoz and her staff, a chronic HPV infection is now seen as a necessary, although not sufficient precondition for the emergence of cervical cancer. This kind of tumour can therefore be seen as the late consequence of a sexually transmitted infection. The work of Nubia Muoz has also made a significant contribution to the development of vaccines initially aimed at combating the world's predominant HPV types 16 and 18. Due to the high costs which still apply at present, the prophylactic, pre-pubic inoculation of girls is taking place almost exclusively in wealthy countries in which, since introduction of the prophylactic examination (Papanicolaou Test), the frequency of cervical cancer has already been sharply reduced. It is therefore urgent that inoculation is extended to less developed nations in which there is still a very high mortality level, particularly in Central and South America, Southern Africa and a few Asian countries.

Sir Richard Peto

Apart from the causation of cervical cancer through HPV infections and cancer of the liver through viral hepatitis, there is hardly a more comparably important, avoidable cause of tumours in human beings than smoking. Although the fact that lung cancer is caused by cigarette smoking has been known for more than 50 years, it lasted an astonishingly long time before reliable data on the extent of the risk and the resultant mortality became available. The work carried out at Oxford University by Sir Richard Peto and his colleague Sir Richard Doll, who died in 2005, made decisive contributions to this. Not least of all thanks to their studies, we know today that the risk of contracting lung cancer is more than 20 times higher for male smokers than for non-smokers. In a famous epidemiological study, Doll and Peto followed more than 34,
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Contact: Professor Paul Kleihues
brupbacher-stiftung@dekmed.uzh.ch
41-076-435-2110
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert

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