HPV vaccine now standard of care for Canadian women and girls
TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of
Canada (GOC) applauds the recommendation by the National Advisory Committee on
Immunization (NACI) that all Canadian girls and women aged 9 to 26 should be
routinely vaccinated with GARDASIL(TM) to protect them against the Human
Papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. The committee
concluded that efficacy would be greatest in females between 9 and 13, before
the onset of sexual intercourse, but females aged 14 to 26 would also benefit
from GARDASIL(TM) even if they are sexually active, since it is unlikely that
they will have been infected with all four HPV types in the vaccine. Females
14 to 26, who have had previous Pap abnormalities or have had genital warts or
an HPV infection, should also be vaccinated.
Last year Health Canada approved GARDASIL(TM), a quadrivalent human
papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, 18) recombinant vaccine. Studies have shown
that the vaccine, which is available in Canada, is 100 per cent effective at
preventing disease from the HPV types that account for 70 per cent of all
cervical cancers and 90 per cent of genital warts.(1) A second bivalent
vaccine, which protects against HPV types 16 and 18, may also become available
"Because of NACI's position, vaccination against diseases caused by
vaccine specific HPV types will now become the standard of care for cervical
cancer prevention," said Dr. Joan Murphy, Chair of the GOC Task Force on
Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control. "Cervical cancer and its precursors
remain a significant health problem for Canadian women and we call upon the
provincial governments to rapidly implement vaccination as a cancer prevention
strategy against HPV types known to cause the majority of cervical cancers."
Burden of HPV
Three in four (75 per cent) Canadians will have at least one HPV
infection in their lifetime(2). HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer
and is linked to vaginal, vulvar and anal cancers(3).
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Canadian women aged
20-44 after breast cancer(4). An estimated 1,400 women are newly diagnosed
with cervical cancer each year and more than 400 women die because of it(5).
In addition, approximately 220 Canadian women die from vulvar/vaginal cancer
each year(6). In fact, Canada has among the highest reported rates of cancer
of the vulva worldwide(7).
Each year the diagnoses and treatment of cervical dysplasia, cervical
cancer and genital warts is estimated to cost more than $300 million to the
Canadian health care system, which includes $244.5 million related to negative
Pap tests and false positives(8).
GOC takes leadership role
"The GOC is taking a leadership role to help define the safest and best
use of the vaccine to minimize the impact of HPV and cervical cancer and its
precursors on women in Canada," said Dr. Robert Lotocki, a gynecologic
oncologist at Cancer Care Manitoba. "Though the benefits of HPV immunization
to the individual will be immediate, it will take time before we see the full
benefit to our health care system. And while we welcome with enthusiasm future
opportunities for modification to current screening practices made possible by
widespread vaccination and other technologies, cervical cancer screening must
continue as per existing provincial and professional guidelines."
"Most women with HPV clear the infection on their own, but in some it
causes cell changes that over time lead to cervical cancer," explained Dr.
Dianne Miller, Head of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the Vancouver
Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. "In order to protect against this
possibility, parents should be supported in their decision to immunize their
daughters against HPV."
"It is our hope that provincial health authorities will adopt a
population-based vaccination strategy, combined with organized screening
programs and a vaccine registry, which will have the greatest positive impact
on cervical cancer prevention for all Canadian women," concluded Dr. Diane
Provencher, Chief of gynecologic oncology at Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal
and past President of GOC.
The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of Canada (GOC) is a nonprofit
organization consisting of physicians, other health care professionals and
scientists specializing in gynecologic oncology. Its purpose is to improve the
care of women with gynecologic cancer, to raise standards of practice and
awareness in gynecologic cancer and to encourage ongoing research. GOC also
seeks to provide information and disseminate knowledge to practitioners,
patients and the general public on gynecologic cancer as well as cooperate
with other organizations interested in women's health care, oncology and
VIDEO B-ROLL AVAILABLE VIA SATELLITE:
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Time: 2:00 - 2:30pm Eastern
SATELLITE FEED CO-ORDINATES:
Anik F2, C-Band, Transponder 7B at 111.1 West
Vertical Polarization, D/L Freq. 3980 MHz.
Audio subcarriers 6.8 left, 6.2 right
Also Available at Toronto T.O.C. at the same times
(SDI Router Position No. 42)
(1) Efficacy of a Prophylactic Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
(Types 6, 11, 16, 18) L1 Virus-Like Particle (VLP) Vaccine for
Prevention of Cervical Dysplasia and External Genital Lesions (EGL).
Presented by C. Sattler at the 45th Annual Interscience Conference on
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Washington, DC.
(2) Health Canada, It's Your Health HPV Web site. (Accessed at
(3) University of Florida Shands Cancer Centre Web site.
(4) Loraine D. Marrett, Jennifer Frood, Diane Nishri and Anne-Marie
Ugnat. Cancer incidence in young adults in Canada: preliminary
results of a cancer surveillance project. Chronic Diseases in Canada.
Spring 2002. Volume 23 Number 2 (Accessed at
(5) Public Health Agency of Canada, Cervical Cancer Screening in Canada:
1998 Surveillance Report, Executive Summary. (Accessed at
(6) Statistics Canada. CANSIM table 102-0522. Deaths, by cause, Chapter
II: Neoplasms (C00 to D48), age group and sex, Canada, 2000-2003.
(7) Woman's Health Surveillance Report. Published September 30, 2003.
(8) Brisson, M et al. The health and economic burden of HPV infection,
genital warts, cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer in Canada.
Presented at the 7th Canadian Immunization Conference (CIC) on
December 3, 2006 in Winnipeg.
For further information:
For further information: Vancouver: Claire Munroe, (604) 684-6655, ext.
237; Winnipeg: Barbara Biggar, (204) 883-2699; Toronto: Cindy Woodcock, (416)
848-1382, ext. 282, Montreal: Roch Landriault, (514) 843-2345