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Another set of researchers detected HPV in nearly one in five girls (18 percent) ages 4 to 15 years (median age 9.5 years) who were virgins (girls who were victims of verified or suspected abuse, and girls that became sexually active during the trial, were excluded from the study).That percentage could be higher in the real-world cohort of vaccine recipients, since abused girls would not be excluded from vaccination.Some people have taken issue with the conclusion and analysis in my previous post, “Should Boys Be Given the HPV Vaccine?The Science Is Weaker Than the Marketing,” including epidemiologist Tara Smith in her blog, Aetiology, at Science Blogs.We can’t say with certainty how HPV vaccination will affect cancer rates, but we can certainly say the effectiveness won’t come near the 98 percent cited as the primary end point in the FUTURES II study. Cancer: In the FUTURES II report, the authors say there’s no feasible alternative to using cervical lesions as an end point to stand in for actual invasive cancer: Although prevention of invasive cervical cancer is the main goal of prophylactic HPV vaccination, it is ethically unacceptable to use invasive cancer as the end point in efficacy trials.Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 and adenocarcinoma in situ, which the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology classifies as stage 0 noninvasive cervical cancers, are clinically important outcomes because they are likely to persist and may become invasive without treatment.
So we can’t truly say how effective the vaccine is.
If Pap screening rates go down because some women assume they’re immune to all HPV strains for life, “there is a real risk that cervical cancer will increase in the U. Only time will tell how HPV vaccinations will affect screening rates—an experiment that’s now being run on a pool of many millions of women.
Overall Vaccine Effectiveness in FUTURES Studies: While Smith is right that 44 percent I mentioned in my post (effectiveness in preventing high-grade lesions due to the vaccine strains, in the intent-to-treat population) isn’t a perfect measure, she doesn’t get any closer to showing how the vaccine fares on its most important test: how much it decreases cervical cancer in the real world.
Here’s a clarification of some of the points in my post, and a response to some of hers.
First I’ll reiterate the key point of my post: There are many, many instances in which researchers have promised cures and interventions that were expected to work based on eminently reasonable logic, but did not pan out.
Unfortunately, while the two HPV vaccines on the market decrease the serious illness and death from cervical cancer, no study has proved that at this point, since no study has been conducted long enough to observe the development of cervical cancer or cervical cancer deaths.