Author: Cheyenne Roundtree
The first long-term study conducted into the HPV vaccine confirm it is almost 100 percent effective at protecting men from developing oral cancer.
The treatment was approved to the market in 2006 to prevent women from getting cervical cancer but experts haven’t been able to fully examine its effect over time. Now, the results are in from a three-year study on the effects – the longest investigation ever on HPV.
It confirmed that there was no trace of cancer-linked strains of HPV among men who received the vaccine – whereas two percent of untreated men had a potentially cancerous strain.
Another study, also released today, found the jab makes it next to impossible for vaccinated children to develop genital warts from the STI in their late teens and 20s.
Despite a multitude of interest and research, these are the first substantial studies to confirm the vaccine’s ability to protect people from the STI and diseases that can stem from it.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in the US, with approximately 80 million people currently infected.
Although most infections disappear on their own, without even displaying symptoms, some strains can lead to genital warts and even cancers, including prostate, throat, head and neck, rectum and cervical cancer. Approximately 28,000 cases of cancer caused by HPV are diagnosed annually – most of which would have preventable with the vaccine, the CDC says.
The vaccine was first introduced with the main goal to prevent cervical cancer in women, but only about half of those eligible are getting the shots.
The study on HPV vaccines leading to oral cancer in men was led by Dr. Maura Gillison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. It was the first research done on whether the vaccine might prevent oral HPV infections in young men, and the results suggest it can.
The data were compiled from 2,627 men and women ages 18 to 33 years in a national health study from 2011 to 2014. The results in men were striking – no infections in the vaccinated group versus 2.13 percent of the others.
The two-dose vaccine study on genital warts was conducted by medical experts at the Boston University School of Medicine and examined the number of shots given to patients. They concluded that girls given two or three jabs prevented better against genital warts compared to those given one or no jabs.
There were similar results in the two and three jab test subjects, which experts concluding two counts of the vaccine were enough.
Rebecca Perkins, an obstetrician and the lead author of the Boston study, said: ‘This study validates the new recommendations and allows us to confidently move forward with the two dose schedule for the prevention of genital warts.’