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Research indicates need for effective HPV vaccine for women and men and a simple HPV screening test
Date:11/3/2008

A call to explore a broader use of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines and the validation of a simple oral screening test for HPV-caused oral cancers are reported in two studies by a Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigator.

Leading HPV expert Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D., the first to identify HPV infection as the cause of certain oral cancers and who identified multiple sex partners as the most important risk factor for these cancers, reports her latest work in the November 3, 2008, journal Clinical Cancer Research and in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monograph. The CDC report on HPV-associated cancers appears on line November 3 and in the November 15, 2008, supplement edition of Cancer.

In the CDC report, believed to be the first and most comprehensive assessment of HPV-associated cancer data in the United States, investigators analyzed cancer registry data from 1998-2003 and found 25,000 cancer cases each year occurred at cancer sites associated with HPV infection. In additional analysis, Gillison and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute identified HPV infection as the underlying cause of approximately 20,000 of these cancers.

Gillison and team found approximately 20,000 cases of cancer in the United States each year are caused by HPV infection. Oral cancers are the second most common type of HPV-associated cancers and are increasing in incidence in the U.S., particularly among men. Add to that anal, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers that are also linked to HPV infection, and Gillison says these cancers, when combined, equal the number of cervical cancers, the most common and well known of the cancers caused by HPV.

While about one-quarter of HPV-linked cancers occur in men, vaccines are currently approved only for use in girls and young women for cervical cancer prevention. "We need to have a more comprehensive discussion of the potential impact the HPV vaccine could hav
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Contact: Valerie Mehl
mehlva@jhmi.edu
410-955-1287
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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