HPV Vaccine Reduces Risk of Precancerous Lesions in Young Women

Young women who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have a substantially lower risk of developing precancerous cervical lesions.

Young women who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have a substantially lower risk of developing precancerous cervical lesions, according to a study conducted in a country where the HPV vaccine is widely available through a free childhood vaccination program for girls.

For their research published Feb. 19, 2014, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Susanne Krüger Kjaer, MD, DMSci, and her team from the Unit of Virus, Lifestyle and Genes at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen analyzed HPV vaccination data following the vaccine’s approval in 2006 for all girls and women born in Denmark between 1989 and 1999.

Taking into account the number of women who were diagnosed with cervical lesions throughout that time period, the authors found those who received the four-strain Gardasil HPV vaccine had a much lower risk of developing precancerous lesions compared to those who had not been vaccinated. Furthermore, the researchers found no cervical lesions in girls born between 1997 and 1999.

Thus, the authors concluded the quadrivalent HPV vaccine is “already effective in reducing the risk for cervical precursor lesions at a population level among young women in Denmark.”