The vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), responsible for cervical cancer, works on adult women

An international study led by a Catalan team of researchers finds that the vaccine is not only effective in women between the ages of 9 and 26 , but in women older than 26. Women up to 45 years old could use this preventative vaccine. The study is published this Wednesday in the ‘British Journal of Cancer’.


June 1, 2011 11:17 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- A study led by Catalan researcher Xavier Castellsagué, member of the Catalan Institute of Oncology, has found that the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is also effective on women older than the age of 26 and up to 45 years. Previous studies had only found the vaccine to be effective in younger women, between the ages of 9 and 26. Now, an international study in which almost 4,000 healthy women have participated in ensures that it also works on older women. It is the first study coming to these conclusions. The study is published this Wednesday in the ‘British Journal of Cancer’. The human papilloma virus is responsible for all cervical cancer cases and genital warts. It is sexually transmittable and affects both men and women, although women take the worst part.

Cervical cancer is the second killer of the disease amongst women, after breast cancer. Every year, 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the world, from half of which the victim dies. In Spain, every year there are 2,100 new cases and 700 deaths.

The study was held at an international level. It was coordinated by Xavier Castellsagué, researcher in the Unit of Infections and Cancer of the Catalan Institute of Oncology. In the study, 3,819 healthy women from different areas of the world participated, with ages ranging between 26 and 45. Half received the vaccine and the other half, placebo. Data not only confirmed the vaccine safety but also its high efficiency preventing the infections and the lesions linked to the virus.