October 28, 2011

Vaccine Fights Anal Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — The rate of anal cancer is increasing, particularly among men who have sex with men. A new study shows that a vaccine, used to fight HPV, successfully lowers the rates of anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN), which leads to cancer.

Anal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV,) type 16 or 18, is preceded by AIN, grade 2 or 3, which is the abnormal cell growth in anal tissue that may progress to cancer.

The study attempted to prevent anal cancer related to HPV infection. Researchers gave healthy men, 16 to 26 years of age, who have sex with other men, were given either the qHPV vaccine or placebo.

Results of the study showed that the qHPV vaccine reduced the rates of AIN among the men, was safe to use, and may help reduce the risk of anal cancer.

The rate of grade 2 or 3 AIN related to infection with HPV-6, 11 , 16, or  18 was reduced by 54.2 percent when looking at the total population of the study, even those who did not complete the trial. Among those men who completed the study, the rate of infection was reduced by 74.9 percent.

Likewise, the risks of persistent anal infection with HPV were reduced by 94.9 percent in men who completed the study, and 59.4 percent in the total population.

No serious adverse side effects related to the vaccine were reported during the study.

SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine