The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OH, USA) has joined a national call for vaccination against HPV as a means of preventing cancer. The joint statement emphasizes the importance of vaccination against HPV as a means of cancer prevention and declares support for recently revised recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (GA, USA).
The new guidelines state that children under 5 years old should receive fewer doses of the HPV vaccine. Specifically, two doses of the vaccine given at least 6 months apart, and it has been suggested this decrease might improve patient compliance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rates of HPV-associated cancers are still rising with approximately 39,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the USA. Despite HPV vaccines preventing a variety of cancers, from cervical to oropharyngeal, cancer vaccination rates are low across the USA. It is estimated that only 41.9% of girls and 28. 1% of boys complete the recommended series of vaccinations, and these rates are lower still in the state of Ohio, at 35% of girls and 23% of boys.
It has been reported that there are a number of barriers hindering increases in vaccination rates, for example, physicians may not be strongly recommending the vaccine to parents, and parents may not understand the importance of the vaccine in preventing against several types of cancer.
Electra Paskett (Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center) explained: “Parents rely heavily on the recommendations of their child’s health care provider for appropriate vaccination, and the medical community simply isn’t consistently recommending the HPV vaccine like they do other public health prevention vaccines. This represents the number one barrier to HPV vaccination and must change to reduce the burden of HPV-associated cancers in our community. ”
One measure that has been taken to try and overcome these barriers is a series of national summits organized by National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. These summits aim to allow the sharing of new research and provide a place to plan collaborative actions towards improving HPV vaccine coverage.
This new statement highlights the importance of the HPV vaccination as a preventative measure. It is the result of discussions from the most recent summit hosted by Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is an update of an original announcement made in January 2016 after a previous summit.
Paskett concluded: “As a global community, we need to unite around HPV vaccination as a true means of cancer prevention. I am a cancer control researcher but I’m also a parent of three boys. The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention and our best defence in stopping HPV infection in our youth and preventing HPV-associated cancers in our communities. Don’t let your kids become our cancer patients.”