Human papillomavirus (HPV), the cause of cervical cancer, is recognized as an important cause of some oropharyngeal, vulvar, and anal cancers. Given the many similarities between HPV-related cancers at the cervix and other anatomic sites, researchers are optimistic that the HPV vaccine will provide long-term protection against extra-cervical infections with high vaccine efficacy. In fact, the vaccine has already been shown to confer near-complete protection over four years against oral, vulvar/vaginal, and anal HPV infections for targeted HPV types. To determine whether the HPV 16/18 prophylactic vaccine protects against HPV 16/18 infections in the oral, vulvar, and anal regions over 10 years, DCEG investigators recently completed collection of oral, vulvar, and anal specimens from women in the long-term follow-up phase of the NCI-sponsored Costa Rican community-based randomized phase III clinical trial and plan to test these specimens for presence of HPV DNA. The main aim of this proof-of-principle study is to determine the long-term impact of HPV vaccination in preventing infections at all mucosal epithelial surfaces.
For more information, contact Aimée Kreimer.