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25 November 2020

Evidence from Japan: HPV vaccination is effective against high-grade cervical lesions

A new study, published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases by scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and collaborators in Japan, reports that young women vaccinated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine had a significantly lower risk of developing cervical precancerous lesions – cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2) and CIN3 – compared with an unvaccinated group.

Data for women aged 20–29 years who participated in the national organized cervical cancer screening programme between April 2015 and March 2017 were collected from the Japan Cancer Society database. A total of more than 37 000 women were included. Among them, 11% had been vaccinated against HPV at age 12–16 years. The vaccine effectiveness against CIN grade 2 or greater (CIN2+) lesions was 76%, and the effectiveness against CIN3+ lesions was 91%, compared with age-matched unvaccinated women.

In Japan, the incidence rate of cervical cancer has increased continuously since the mid-1990s (with a 4.7% annual increase), and this is associated with an increased mortality rate. The burden of cervical cancer can be decreased through HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening.

Shiko Y, Konno R, Konishi H, Sauvaget C, Ohashi Y, Kakizoe T.
Effectiveness of HPV vaccination against the development of high-grade cervical lesions in young Japanese women
BMC Infect Dis, Published online 5 November 2020;
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05513-6

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Read IARC Press Release 291 

Publication status

Published in section: IARC News

Publication date: 25 November, 2020, 15:16

Direct link: https://www.iarc.fr/news-events/evidence-from-japan-hpv-vaccination-is-effective-against-high-grade-cervical-lesions/

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