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One Vaccine Dose May Adequately Protect Against HPV

Two large international trials suggest single immunization may be as good as two or three

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) — One dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix could prevent as many cases of cervical cancer as the current two- and three-dose schedules, a new study contends. The findings were published online June 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

The vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18, which are believed to cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers. The vaccine was originally approved to be given in three doses over six months, but many countries are switching to a two-dose schedule in teenagers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends three doses for young Americans.

Researchers conducted two large phase 3 clinical trials that included 26,110 women between the ages of 15 and 25. They lived in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The researchers found that one dose of Cervarix offered similar levels of protection over four years when compared to two and three doses.

“If HPV vaccines could be delivered as one dose, while retaining their efficacy against the most oncogenic HPV types 16 and 18, the global burden of cervical cancer would substantially decrease,” Julia Brotherton, M.D., of the Victorian Cytology Service Registries in Melbourne, Australia, said in a journal news release. Brotherton is the author of an editorial accompanying the study.

Cervarix maker GlaxoSmithKline provided funding for one of the studies.

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