Dr. Cosette Wheeler publishes two articles in The Lancet Oncology

November 9, 2011 - Department of Pathology

Dr. Cosette Wheeler, Professor in UNM Pathology Department, and colleagues published two articles in The Lancet Oncology 11/9/11, presenting 4-year end-of-study data from a trial of a prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/-18 vaccine (Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline) in young women aged 15–25 years. They report vaccine efficacy against CIN3+ and adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS) in the end-of-study analysis of PATRICIA (PApilloma TRIal against Cancer In young Adults), irrespective of HPV DNA in the lesion. The HPV-16/18 vaccine shows cross-protective efficacy against four oncogenic non-vaccine HPV types—HPV-33, HPV-31, HPV-45, and HPV-51. From a public-health perspective, these studies have several important contributions. Population-based vaccination that incorporates the HPV-16/18 vaccine and high coverage of early adolescents might have the potential to substantially reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.

Dr. Wheeler says “The United States is behind in achieving high coverage with immunizations for adolescent girls against human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, a leading cause of cervical cancer. These studies show the bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline) is even more effective than we had hoped. However, while some countries (Australia and UK) have achieved more than 80-90 percent coverage of adolescent girls with three doses of HPV vaccine, in the U.S. we are only at about 30 percent coverage. Other countries have been able to achieve high HPV vaccine coverage rates by governments providing resources to cover vaccine costs and implementation of infrastructures and voluntary school-based delivery programs. Clearly, our next step is to put in place the needed programs for successful delivery of HPV vaccines and other important adolescent vaccines which also need similar efforts. “