By Lilian Anekwe
Quadrivalent HPV vaccine provides at least four years of ‘sustained protection’ against cervical lesions and substantially reduces the burden of disease, according to the results of two studies in the British Medical Journal.
The results of the FUTURE I and FUTURE II trials, two double blind randomised controlled trials of the quadrivalent vaccine’s protection against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 pulbished in the BMJ this week, show that women are still protected even if they have had previous sexual partners.
In a population of nearly 18,000 HPV-negative women aged 16 to 26 years who had recorded no more than four sexual partners, the vaccine was prevented 96% of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade I, 100% of vulvar and vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia grade I, and 99% of genital warts.
The vaccine efficacy against disease due to any HPV type was 30% for cervical lesions, 75% for vulvar lesions and 48% for vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia grade I, and 83% for genital warts.
The Department of Health came under heavy criticism for its decision in 2008 to choose the bivalent vaccine Ceravix for use in its school-based cervical cancer vaccination programme. The bivalent vaccine only protects against cervical cancer, but not genital warts, unlike the quadrivalent HPV vaccine.
Lead researcher Professor Joakim Dillner, professor of virology and molecular epidemiology at Lund University in Sweden, concluded: ‘The reported efficacy against low grade HPV related lesions is important [because] these lesions occur shortly after infection, and a reduction in these lesions will be the earliest clinically noticeable health gain to be realised by HPV vaccination.’
Quadrivalent vaccine offers women ‘sustained protection’