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ASCO: HPV Vaccine May Reduce Vaginal, Vulvar Cancers

Study suggests it is protective against HPV-associated vaginal and vulvar cancers

MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer may also prevent most vaginal and vulvar cancers, according to research presented this week at the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta.

Jorma Paavonen, M.D., of the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues analyzed data from three clinical trials during which 18,150 women from the Americas, Europe and Asia randomly received up to three doses of quadrivalent HPV (Types 6, 11, 16, 18) L1 VLP vaccine or a placebo over a six-month period.

After two years, the researchers identified no HPV-associated vaginal and vulvar cancers in the vaccine group but found 24 such cancers in the placebo group.

"The burden of HPV disease is not restricted to the cervix; HPV is present in nearly 80 percent of the 6,000 cases of vaginal and vulvar cancers that are diagnosed in the United States each year," Paavonen said in a statement.

"This intervention is expected to greatly reduce the risk of vulvar and vaginal cancers," the authors conclude.

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