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HPV Vaccine

July 27, 2009

Vaccines against the viruses that cause cervical cancer are proving to be extremely effective at preventing the disease.


Cervical cancer’s nemesis. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Most cervical cancers are caused by Human Papilloma Virus types 16 and 18. But a large international study recently demonstrated that vaccination against these two types of HPV is more than 70% effective at preventing pre-cancerous HPV lesions when given to girls who have never had sex before. University of Helsinki Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Jorma Paavonen led the study.

JORMA PAAVONEN (University of Helsinki):
Cervical cancer is basically a preventable disease.

He adds that the vaccine is also 30% effective against the development of cervical lesions in women who already had one type of HPV, since it prevents infection by another type. He recommends that girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 12 be vaccinated against HPV. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.