Vaccination against Cervical Cancer

May. 12, 2017

It is now known that Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is required for the development of cervical cancer. We published one of the first population-based studies examining the ability of vaccines against HPV to reduce cervical dysplasia, which is an early step in the development of cervical cancer.

HPV is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection, and current vaccines against HPV are only protective when the vaccine is given before HPV exposure. We assessed the vaccine effectiveness of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (QHPV) against cervical dysplasia in Manitoba females. Most vaccinated females were 15 to 19 years old at the time of vaccination and were matched on age with up to three non-vaccinated females. The QHPV vaccine was associated with a 23% reduction in high-grade cervical dysplasia risk among females with no history of abnormal cytology, but there was no evidence of protection among those with such a history. The results showed that vaccination offers some protection against cervical dysplasia but also highlighted the need to vaccinate prior to HPV exposure. The full study can be found here