FDA approval of nonavalent HPV vaccine adds new tool to eradicate cervical cancer

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FDA approval of nonavalent HPV vaccine adds new tool to eradicate cervical cancer

Chicago, Ill. Dec. 10, 2014 — The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a nonavalent vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) represents another important step in the eradication of cervical cancer, according to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO).

It is estimated that the seven “high-risk” HPV types found in the nonavalent vaccine can potentially prevent over 90 percent of cervical cancers and a similarly high number of other HPV-associated cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis, and some head and neck cancers.

“As the healthcare providers for women who suffer from cervical and lower genital tract cancers, members of the SGO have always been advocates for the primary prevention of cervical and other HPV-related cancers,” said SGO President Richard R. Barakat, MD. “Vaccination against HPV is a powerful way to eliminate these cancers.”

SGO reiterates its strong support for vaccination of adolescent girls and boys, including the routinely recommended age group of 11 to 12 year olds, the group in which these vaccines have been found to be most effective. Also, SGO recommends that women undergo cervical cancer screening as recommended by guidelines.

In 2014, the American Cancer Society estimated that 12,360 women would be diagnosed and 4,020 women would die from cervical cancer in the United States. “HPV vaccination should result in a significant decline in these numbers, but it is critical that physicians urge parents to take advantage of the rare opportunity to prevent cancer through a simple vaccine,” Dr. Barakat said.

Girls and boys already on a vaccine schedule should continue to get vaccinated.

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About SGO
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) is a 501(c)6 national medical specialty organization of physicians and allied healthcare professionals who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. The Society’s membership, totaling more than 1,800, is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, social workers and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and supportive care. www.sgo.org.