Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Issues White Paper on HPV Vaccine’s Impact on Cervical Cancer Prevention

Paper is First in a Series Based on Presentations from Cervical Cancer Prevention Forum Hosted by SGO

CHICAGO, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) has published the first in a series of four papers on a variety of cervical cancer issues and topics that were the focus of its Forum “The Future Strategies for Cervical Cancer Prevention: What Do We Need to Do Now to Prepare,” held last September in Chicago, Illinois. The paper, entitled “The Impact of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination on Cervical Cancer Prevention Efforts,” is featured in the August, 2009 issue of Gynecologic Oncology. It includes data relevant to HPV natural history as well as excerpts from Forum discussions regarding the limits of current screening, the impact that eliminating HPV 16/18 through vaccination may have on rates of cervical precancer and cervical cancer screening, strategies to measure vaccine uptake and obstacles surrounding separate screening for vaccinated women.

In particular, the manuscript addresses the obstacles to cervical cancer screening and prevention arising from vaccination against HPV types 16 and 18. It suggests potential new directions for screening now that HPV vaccination has been adopted. Dr. Stewart Massad, the paper’s lead author and a member of the SGO Forum’s Organizational Committee, concludes that until population-based data on the performance of cytology, HPV testing and alternate screening or triage interventions become available, modification of current screening guidelines would be premature.

“The section of the Forum that this paper addresses focused on identifying current problems that restrict the utility of screening with an HPV test rather than a Pap test,” explains Dr. Massad. “The research shared and discussed during this section of the Forum indicates that if administered prior to first exposure, the vaccine can prevent up to 70 percent of cervical cancers. But many women are being vaccinated after exposure and modifying screening places them at increased risk for cancer. The information shared in this session and captured in this manuscript is an excellent resource, both as a snapshot of the current knowledge surrounding the impact and effectiveness of the HPV vaccine, and as a touchstone for areas where further research and investigation are needed to identify modifications in screening guidelines and intervention techniques.

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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.