HPV vaccine reduces abnormal pap test results

March 10th, 2008 - 1:26 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 10 (IANS) A vaccine against cervical cancer causes a significant drop in abnormal pap test results, a new study has found. The findings demonstrate the vaccine, named Gardasil, appears to prevent the development of cell mutation that lead to cervical disease, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers said.

Findings of the study were presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the US Society of Gynaecologic Oncologists.

Gardasil is approved to fight the human papilloma virus (HPV) strains believed to cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and more than 90 percent of genital warts.

It also reduced abnormal pap test results by 43 percent compared to women not given the vaccine. This reduction was for tests that found pre-cancerous changes called high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) more than three years after women were given the vaccine.

Gardasil reduced other abnormal pap results, including milder pre-malignant cell changes, by 16 to 35 percent compared to women not given the vaccine.

The results are a compilation of three separate trials involving more than 18,000 women, ages 16 to 26, in the US, Europe and Asia. All test subjects had normal pap smear readings at the start of the trial.

In addition to the drop in unwanted pap results, the study found invasive procedures like cervical biopsies were performed up to 42 percent less in Gardasil recipients compared to women not given the vaccine, Warner Huh of UAB said.

While the findings are not definitive, they do signal the vaccine will spare thousands of women a diagnosis of cell abnormality or malignant changes that may lead to more tests and possibly surgery, said Huh.

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