HPV Vaccines effective against Anal Cancers

A vaccine against the sexually passed on disease HPV, causing cervical cancer in women, has also been shown some potentials in preventing most anal cancers in gay men, a global study said Wednesday.

Men who got immunized against human papillomavirus grew 75 percent less anal lesions, leading to cancer compared to their counterparts given with placebo, as stated in the study, in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The study got released one day following a US advisory panel that urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recommending routine vaccinations for boys age 11-12 against HPV.

The report claims disease can infect half of all sexually active adults and can cause genital warts.Sometimes, people with HPV show no symptoms at all.

If detected ahead of time, the lesions caused by four particularly dangerous strains of the virus can be eliminated, which prevents cancer from developing. However, experts say vaccinating against it before people engage in sex is crucial.

In the United States, there are more than 6,000 cases of anal cancer detected yearly, and near to 800 deaths, according to US government health statistics.

A total of 602 sexually vigorous gay men aged 16-26 from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Spain and the United States got involved with the research.

Those in the study, supported by Merck, had at least one but no above five sexual encounters. They got arbitrarily assigned either a placebo or a three-shot injection of Gardasil, a Merck-made vaccine.

Gardasil is the only vaccine on the market that can be use to stop HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 in boys and girls. A vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, known as Cervarix, authorized for use in girls against HPV types 16 and 18.

The test ran from 2006 to 2008 and included three years of record, after which those who had never been exposed to HPV showed a 75 percent lower rate of anal HPV contaminations and precancerous anal scratches.

Those exposed to one or more of the HPV types that Gardasil wants to prevent saw 54 percent lesser lesions than those not injected with the vaccine.

Palefsky believe that there majority of HIV-positive men in the United States are also suffering from HPV. Anal cancer incidence is continually growing in both men and women.

It is, believed that there is nine new cases of cervical cancer for every 100,000 women each year in the US, compared to around 100 new cases of anal cancer in HIV-positive men per 100,000 individuals.