Cervical Cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world in women[1]. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer can be attributed to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most predominant viral infection of the reproductive tract; in fact, most sexually active individuals will be infected at some point in their lives[2]. Although there are many types of HPV, only a tiny portion of infections with certain types of HPV can progress to cervical cancer.

In 2020 the World Health Assembly adopted the global strategy for eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem. The plan includes intervention across the life span, including HPV vaccination as the primary prevention.

Like many other viral immunizations, the HPV vaccine stimulates the immune response. On a basic level, this causes an antibody response with future encounters with HPV, which helps prevent the virus from infecting other cells. The HPV vaccines are based on virus-like particles formed on the surface of HPV[3]. These particles are known to induce high levels of antibody production in the body, making the vaccine highly effective.

There are presently three vaccines that have been prequalified in protecting against HPV. Clinical trials and post-market surveillance have shown these vaccines are both safe and effective in preventing HPV infections, high-grade pre-cancerous lesions, and invasive cancer[4]. In November 2021, an article was published in The Lancet on the first real-world data on the HPV Vaccines showing almost a 90% decrease in cervical cancer in girls who were vaccinated in England, beginning in 2008[5]. The real-world data shows the immense impact the HPV Vaccine can have on human lives.

Not only does vaccination protect immunized individuals against different HPV infections, but the vaccination can also reduce the frequency of the vaccine-targeted HPV types within the population, reducing the infection change for non-vaccinated individuals. Widespread HPV vaccination could potentially reduce the need for screenings and subsequent medical care, biopsies, and invasive procedures to help reduce medical costs.

Until additional long-term data is provided, individuals who have gotten the HPV vaccine are still recommended to get regular cervical cancer screenings. EMMA International can help gather additional post-market data for vaccines, drugs, and other medical devices. From Research and Development through regulatory submissions and post-market, EMMA International offers full-circle consulting. Give us a call today at 248-987-4497 or email us at info@emmainternational.com

[1] https://www.who.int/health-topics/cervical-cancer#tab=tab_1

[2] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-papillomavirus-(hpv)-and-cervical-cancer

[3] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-vaccine-fact-sheet

[4] Lei et al. (2020)  HPV Vaccination and the Risk of Invasive Cervical Cancer.  N Engl J Med 2020;383:1340-8. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1917338

[5] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02178-4/fulltext

Alexis Ferrier

Alexis Ferrier

Alexis is a Technical Writer at EMMA International. She has research and development experience in both device and drug products. Additionally, Alexis has experience in quality assurance, quality control, regulatory requirements, and international compliance. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Michigan Technological University.

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