Protection from HPV Vaccine Lasts Longer than Six Years

By Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: December 02, 2009
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Med Page Today

Cervarix, one of two FDA-approved vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV), protects against infection for more than six years, researchers found.Through follow-up as long as 6.4 years, the vaccine had an efficacy of 95.3% for preventing infection with the two types of HPV most commonly implicated in cervical cancer — HPV-16 and -18, Barbara Romanowski, MD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and colleagues reported online in The Lancet.

Romanowski is a member of the HPV-007 study group of GlaxoSmithKline, which makes the vaccine.

Cervarix was also 100% effective at preventing cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 and above, the investigators reported.

The duration of protection demonstrated in this study is the longest yet observed, according to the researchers. The other approved HPV vaccine, Merck’s Gardasil, has been shown to be effective up to five years.

“Although further assessment is necessary to confirm long-term vaccine effects, in view of the data from our study, we expect protection to continue for many more years,” the authors wrote.

Gary Clifford, PhD, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, agreed in an accompanying editorial.

The data lead “us to strongly suspect that, as these and other vaccinated women are followed up, the period of protection might be much longer,” he said.

A subset of the study participants will be followed up to 9.5 years after vaccination.

The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, maker of Cervarix.

Three of the study authors are employed by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals. Romanowski and her co-authors reported conflicts of interest with GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Roche Molecular Systems, and Sanofi.

Clifford reported that he does not have any conflicts of interest.


Comment from Leslie

Well, any study that is funded by the drug manufacturer should be disregarded as a conflict of interest and not just because of the participants.  Besides I just posted another article tonight that states that Big Pharma takes the crem de crem of the studies that back of their findings and uses them to tout their claims – ditching studies that do not reflect their outcomes.

We have all done that.

This is more a marketing ploy over whose vaccine is better Merck’s or GSK’s.  In my humble opinion it is time for both camps to take their toys and go home.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.