In short Article

Update: does HPV vaccination prevent cervical carcinoma?

New research offers greater clarity


A previous Ge-Bu article concluded that too little research had been published to answer the question whether vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) protects against cervical carcinoma. December 2021, however, saw the publication of the results of a large retrospective cohort study in England, funded by Cancer Research UK. This study investigated the number of cervical carcinomas that had been prevented by the vaccination campaign. The HPV vaccination programme in England had been introduced for all women born from 1 September 1990. The incidences of CIN3 (Grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) and of cervical carcinoma in this group were found to be statistically significantly lower than in the group of women who had been just over the age of eligibility for the HPV vaccination programme.

  • Results of an English retrospective cohort study show a decrease in the number of cases of cervical carcinoma and CIN3 among women aged 20 to 30 years who had been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated against HPV at a younger age.
  • This study forms a useful addition to the available evidence for the effectiveness of HPV vaccination in preventing cervical carcinoma.
  • Due to differences in the vaccination and screening programmes for cervical carcinoma, as well as in the vaccination rate, the results cannot be simply applied to the Dutch situation.

  1. Van Avendonk M, Nieuwhof MA, Helmerhorst FM. Voorkomt HPV-vaccinatie cervixcarcinoom? Gebu. 2021;55(5):47-56.
  2. Falcaro M, Castañon A, Ndlela B, Checchi M, Soldan K, Lopez-Bernal J, et al. The effects of the national HPV vaccination programme in England, UK, on cervical cancer and grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia incidence: a register-based observational study. Lancet. 2021 Dec 4;398(10316):2084-2092. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02178-4. 
  3. Schurink T, de Melker HE. HPV vaccination: Background information for the Dutch Health Council. RIVM Letter report 2017-0020. Available from: www.rivm.nl/publicaties/hpv-vaccination-background-information-for-dutch-health-council. Accessed 1-2-2022.
  4. RIVM. Addendum: HPV-vaccinatie. In: RVP-richtlijn Uitvoering Rijksvaccinatieprogramma. 2022. Available from: https://rijksvaccinatieprogramma.nl/23-addendum-hpv-vaccinatie. Accessed 1-2-2022.
  5. Public Health England. Guidance - Cervical screening: implementation guide for primary HPV screening. 22 February 2019. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cervical-screening-primary-hpv-screening-implementation/cervical-screening-implementation-guide-for-primary-hpv-screening. Accessed 1-2-2022.
  6. RIVM. Bevolkingsonderzoek baarmoederhalskanker. 13 januari 2022. Available from: https://www.rivm.nl/bevolkingsonderzoek-baarmoederhalskanker. Accessed 15-2-2022. 

Authors

  • Marielle A.E. Nieuwhof, pharmacist