Nov. 5, 2021 – Young women who received the HPV vaccine were 87% less likely to get cervical cancer than those who were unvaccinated, a new study found.

Data from England shows the success of the national program for vaccinating girls against human papillomavirus (HPV) to prevent cervical cancer.

"It's been incredible to see the impact of HPV vaccination and now we can prove it prevented hundreds of women from developing cancer in England," senior author Peter Sasieni, MD, of King's College London, said in a statement. "To see the real-life impact of the vaccine has been truly rewarding."

Kate Soldan, MD, of the UK Health Security Agency in London, said the results are promising.

"This study provides the first direct evidence of the impact of the UK HPV vaccination campaign on cervical cancer incidence, showing a large reduction in cervical cancer rates in vaccinated cohorts," she said in a statement.

Vanessa Saliba, MD, a consultant epidemiologist for the UK Health Security Agency agreed, saying that "these remarkable findings confirm that the HPV vaccine saves lives by dramatically reducing cervical cancer rates among women.
"This reminds us that vaccines are one of the most important tools we have to help us live longer, healthier lives," she added

The study was published online November 3 in The Lancet. Approached for comment on the new study, Maurice Markman, MD, president of the Medicine and Science Cancer Treatment Centers of America, noted that results of the English study were very similar to those of a - Swedish investigatorsstudy of the vaccine.

"You can put any superlatives you want in here, but these are stunningly positive results," Markman says.

Markman said that as an oncologist who has been treating cervical cancer for 40 years — particularly patients with advanced cervical cancer — "I can tell you this is one of the most devastating diseases to women, and the ability to eliminate this cancer with something as simple as a vaccine is the goal of cancer therapy, and it's been remarkably successful."