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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

e on cancer rates among men and women in this country," says Gillison, associate professor of oncology. "Currently available HPV vaccines have the potential to reduce the rates of HPV-associated cancers, like oral and anal cancers, that are currently on the rise and for which there no effective or widely-applied screening programs." Gillison notes, however, that studies are needed to confirm that the vaccine effectively prevents HPV infections that lead to oral and anal cancers.

Gillison's findings were part of a project known as ABHACUS (Assessing the Burden of Human Papillomavirus-Associated Cancers). The data studied came from the CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. More than 80 investigators from across the country participated in the project, which addressed a variety of HPV-cancer associated issues, including racial disparity, economic impact, behavioral risk factors, and cancer mortality.

Other then prevention, early detection is held by cancer experts as the best way to control cancer. In the Clinical Cancer Research study, the first to track the disease and related oral infections over an extended period, Gillison found that simple "swish and spit" oral rinses can successfully track oral HPV infection over time. These findings open the door to a potential, non-invasive screening test to detect the disease and monitor for tumor recurrence. Head and neck cancer is the broad term for a variety of cancers of the oral cavity, including the tonsils, base of the tongue, and the side and back wall of the throat.

The study found that oral rinses successfully detected high-risk HPV infections in patients with HPV 16-positive head and neck cancers for up to five years after treatment for their cancer. Gillison says the findings indicate a high rate of persistent infection and reaffirms the connection between high-risk types of HPV and HPV-po
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Contact: Valerie Mehl
mehlva@jhmi.edu
410-955-1287
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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