Young women vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) in their teens with a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) product, Cervarix, had up to an 87% lower risk of developing cervical cancer linked to the virus, a long-running English study recently found. When the vaccinated women were in their 20s, those who had received the shots between 12 and 13 years of age had cervical cancer rates that were 87% lesser than unvaccinated women who had been screened for the malignancy during the same period.
Researchers reported in The Lancet medical journal that the cancer rates were 62% lower when the shots were given between 14 and 16 years and reduced by 34% in women vaccinated between ages 16 and 18. The study also found that the rates of a precancerous condition were decreased by 97% when the shots were given at ages 12 and 13.
“We hope that these new results encourage uptake as the success of the vaccination programme relies not only on the efficacy of the vaccine but also the proportion of the population vaccinated,” said coauthor Kate Soldan of the UK Health Security Agency.