India Develops HPV Vaccine to Combat Cervical Cancer

 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 play a huge role in the development of cervical cancer. In fact, an estimated 70% of cervical cancer cases result from these two strains. According to an article in Reuters, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has developed a new vaccination against those types of HPV, as well as types 6 and 11. Through this vaccine, the SII hopes to combat growing rates of cervical cancer. 

This is especially important as those within low- and middle-income countries and communities are often the hardest hit by cervical cancer. Only 10% of diagnoses and deaths from cervical cancer occur in high-income countries. To fight this disproportionate impact, vaccines and other therapies are urgently needed. 

For the time being, the SII will continue manufacturing the vaccination and preparing it for sale. They hope that the vaccine will be available within India by the end of the year, and available throughout the rest of the world over the next few years. It is given via two shots to those between the ages of nine and fourteen, and three shots for those between ages fifteen and twenty-six. 

About Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. As the name suggests, cervical cancer begins in the cells of the cervix, or the lowest part of the uterus which connects to the vagina. The main risk of developing this form of cancer is having certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Additional risk factors include diethylstilbestrol exposure, a weakened immune system, having many sexual partners or early sexual activity, and smoking cigarettes. There are multiple subtypes of cervical cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Symptoms can (but do not always) include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Watery, bloody, and/or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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