HPV-Related Cancers Continue to Risk, Most Preventable With Vaccine

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Laura J. Viens, MD
Division of cancer prevention and control

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We analyzed the most recent available data from 2008–2012 from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program for HPV-associated cancers.

  • These data cover 99% of the US population.
  • These data represent the official federal statistics on cancer incidence (new cases).
  • Every year between 2008 and 2012, about 39,000 men and women were diagnosed with cancers associated with HPV, an overall increase when compared with the 33,000 cancers associated with HPV between 2004 and 2008.
  • 23,000 (13.5 per 100,000 population) among females and 15,793 (9.7 per 100,000 population) among males.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: CDC estimates that 30,700 cases of cancer can be attributed to HPV, and 28,500 of these are attributable to HPV types that are preventable with the nine-valent HPV vaccine. Over 90% of cancers likely caused by HPV can be prevented by HPV vaccine.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Because cancers take decades to develop, it will take a long time to see the impact of the HPV vaccine on cancer rates in the US. In addition to monitoring the uptake of the vaccine, it will be important to see which interventions work best in improving vaccine uptake.

It will also be important to measure the impact of the vaccine on type-specific HPV infection, precancers, and cancers.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?


  • High vaccination coverage in the target age groups could prevent HPV-attributable cancers and potentially reduce racial and ethnic disparities in HPV-associated cancer incidence.
  • Effective screening can identify cervical precancers before they progress to cancer.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Viens LJ, Henley SJ, Watson M, et al. Human Papillomavirus–Associated Cancers — United States, 2008–2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:661–666. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6526a1.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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