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Fewer than 3 doses of cervical cancer vaccine effective
Date:9/8/2011

Fewer than three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix may be just as effective as the standard three-dose regimen when it comes to preventive measures against cervical cancer, according to a new study published September 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Across the globe, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women, and HPV types 16 and 18 are a large contributor to the development of the disease. The HPV 16/18 vaccine is currently given in three doses over six months, making it an expensive and sometimes difficult to complete. No previous study has reported on the efficacy of fewer doses of the vaccine in protecting women against the HPV infections that lead to cervical cancer.

To determine whether a lower number of doses of the Cervarix vaccine would be efficacious, Aime R. Kreimer, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and a team of researchers conducted an analysis of data from the NCI-sponsored Costa Rica Vaccine Trial, where women received either three doses of Cervarix or the control vaccine. Of the 7,466 women enrolled, 20% received fewer than three doses due to involuntary factors, such as pregnancy or referrals to colposcopy during routine patient management. The researchers compared the frequency of persistent infection with HPV 16 or 18 in the HPV and control arms of the trial during 4 years of follow-up in women who received one or two doses of the vaccine and in women who received 3 doses.

Once researchers excluded women who had no follow-up or who were HPV16 and HPV18 DNA positive at the time of enrollment, 5,967 women received three doses of the treatment, 802 received two doses and 384 women received only one dose.

The researchers found similar levels of protection against HPV16 and HPV18 from the vaccine among women receiving one, two, and three doses of the vaccine.
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Contact: Zack Rathner
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1286
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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