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HPV Vaccination

The link between HPV infection and cervical cancer has allowed

the development of several tests to detect its nucleic acids and of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines.

Two prophylactic HPV vaccines against HPV types responsible of cervical cancer are actually licensed in Europe.

  • Cervarix® is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline
  • Gardasil® or Silgard® is marketed by Sanofi Pasteur MSD  in 19 European countries and by Merck Sharp & Dohme in other Central and Eastern European countries.

Vaccines are made from virus-like particles, empty shells without viral DNA and therefore are non-infectious.

Both vaccines show a good safety profile and protect against the high-risk HPV types 16 and 18, responsible for an estimated 73% of cervical cancer cases in Europe. Gardasil also protects against types 6 and 11, which cause most cases of genital warts.

The vaccines are given in three doses over a six-month period.

It is important to remark that HPV vaccines do not give full protection against cervical cancer because HPV types covered by the vaccines account for nearby 70% of cervical cancers. Therefore routine cervical screening cannot be actually replaced by HPV vaccination.

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