Cervical cancer prevention. Screening for HPV DNA. HPV vaccine. 11
Cervical cancer affects young women. There was a famous TV personality in the UK, Jane Goody. She died from cervical cancer at 27 years of age. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. You’ve done seminal work on cervical cancer prevention. What are the latest developments in prevention of cervical cancer? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. How can a woman prevent cervical cancer? Dr. Jack Cuzick, PhD. Cervical cancer is unique amongst the major cancers. There is one cause for virtually all of cervical cancers. It is the human papillomavirus, HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. Dr. Harald zur Hausen got the Nobel Prize for his discovery of this particular cause of cervical cancer. There has been an enormous amount of work how to take that initial observation on cervical cancer cause. Physicians discovered how to convert that research into clinical benefit. Cervical cancer was the most common cancer in women. But now cancer of cervix is on the verge of being eradicated. Screening tests for cervical cancer have been developed. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. New diagnostic tests for HPV are better than the conventional Pap smear. These diagnostic tests look for the human papilloma virus in the same cervical sample. Dr. Jack Cuzick, PhD. It is the same sample of cervical cells that we take for Pap smear. It’s much more sensitive than cytology for cancer detection. We are now replacing cytology as primary screening test for cervical cancer. HPV DNA detection diagnostic test also can be scaled. It is an automated test. This is opposed to risks of physician being tired or being inattentive in manual testing for cervical cancer. There are many advantages for HPV testing. HPV test is more sensitive than the Papanicolaou test. It is a completely objective automated test. It doesn’t require hours and hours of looking down a microscope to find abnormal cancer cells. It is a molecular test. It comes directly out of a machine. So the more exciting new development. began about 10 years ago. It is a vaccine against the HPV virus. There have been many clinical trials that looked at HPV vaccination. Dr. Jack Cuzick, PhD. There are essentially three commercially available HPV vaccines now. One by GlaxoSmithKline pharma company. This is called Cervarix. It protects from two major HPV types causing cancer, HPV type 16 and HPV type 18. Merck developed initially a vaccine that had those two types, HPV 16 and 18. There were also two types of HPV that cause genital warts. That is HPV type 6 and type 11. Both vaccines have been shown to be virtually 100% effective at preventing HPV infection. HPV vaccines have to be given before infection occurs. But neither of them are prophylactic. If you are infected with HPV virus, vaccine doesn’t have any impact on eliminating HPV virus. HPV infection still requires screening to detect abnormal cancer cells. Merck pharmaceutical company has also developed a wider spectrum vaccine. This vaccine has 9 HPV types. Original four HPV types plus the next five most common types of HPV that cause cervix cancer. Two types of HPV strains are included in the vaccine. This is to prevent genital warts, genital infections. There are also another seven HPV types aimed at preventing the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. We hope for potentially 90% reduction in cervical cancer incidence. Dr. Jack Cuzick, PhD. The ability of the HPV DNA test to diagnose at an early stage those cervical pre-cancers that appeared before vaccine was available. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Potentially, cervical cancer could almost disappear over next 5 to 10 years.
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