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  • A new and more effective HPV vaccine cuts the rate of cervical cancer

    Author: AAP

A new more effective HPV vaccine cuts the rate of cervical cancer by a further 23 per cent, a global clinical trial has shown.

The eradication of cervical cancer is on the horizon after the development of a far more effective HPV vaccine, an Australian researcher says.

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A large, global clinical trial has shown the improved human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine cuts the rate of cervical cancer by a further 23 per cent.

"The eradication of cervical cancer is now firmly within our sights," said Professor Suzanne Garland, Director of the Royal Women's Hospital Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"This new vaccine protects against the same types of the virus as the existing Gardasil [vaccine], plus an additional five most common strains of HPV," she said.


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It can also protect against 90 per cent of HPV that causes vulvar, anal and vaginal cancers.

HPV is a group of viruses mainly transmitted through sexual contact. A small number of those infected will go on to develop abnormal cells that are the precursor to cervical cancer.

The Australian developed Gardasil is the current HPV vaccine provided free in schools to all boys and girls aged 12-13 under the National HPV Vaccination Program.

Another benefit of the new vaccine is that full immunisation is achieved in two injections as opposed to the current three.

Professor Garland says the new vaccine prevents strains that cause 93 per cent of cervical cancers compared to the 70 per cent protection provided by Gardasil.

A Phase 3 clinical trial to test its efficacy involved more than 14,000 women in 18 countries, aged 16 to 26. They received either the new vaccine - known as 9vHPV - or the original.

Researchers looked at the rate of pre-cancerous cell changes in the women six years later and found the new vaccine was far more effective, protecting an extra five of the most common strains of HPV.

The findings have been published in medical journal The Lancet.

Professor Garland - lead author of the paper - says they are now awaiting the federal health minister's decision on whether to approve the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Committee's recommendation to change the Australian HPV vaccination program from using Gardasil to the new, "more effective" vaccine.


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