A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Cedars-Sinai proposes that the 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine could prevent 80% of cervical cancers in the United States if administered to all 11- or 12-year-old children prior to exposure to the virus. The results from the seven-center study appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Marc T. Goodman, PhD, MPH, director of Cancer Prevention and Genetics at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, and colleagues examined 2,670 HPV DNA tissue samples from seven population-based cancer registries. Seventy percent of the samples with cancer of the oropharynx harbored HPV, a greater percentage compared to those observed in prior research which may be due to changes in sexual behaviors like increased oral-genital contact.

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The researchers found that the 9-valent vaccine has the potential to prevent 80% of cervical cancers and almost 19,000 cancers diagnosed in the United States, including anal, oropharyngeal, and penile cancers; this is a 13% increase in protection compared to other HPV vaccines. It may also offer protection against an additional 8% of oropharyngeal cancers, including cancer of the base of the tongue and tonsils (the second most common HPV-associated cancer). The vaccine increased the protection against other HPV-related cancers including cancer of the vulva (from 71% to 92%), vagina (73% to 98%), penis (76% to 90%), and anus (87% to 96%).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the 9-valent vaccine (Gardasil 9; Merck) in December 2014 for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal cancers, and for the prevention of genital warts caused by nine types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It is indicated for use in females 9–26 years old and males 9–15 years old.

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