A British study recently highlighted the benefits of the vaccine against the papillomavirus during an intervention on pre-cancerous cells.
Upromising progress. When precancerous lesions – that is, changes in the cells of the epithelium of the cervix – are noted, some treatments can be recommended in order to prevent these from evolving in cancer. It can be electrosurgical excision, cryosurgery, laser surgery or hysterectomy. The Canadian Cancer Society recalls on its website that “most women treated for a precancerous condition of the cervix have an excellent prognosis and this condition will never progress to cancer of the cervix”.
However, precancerous lesions are distinguished into several groups. And people with uterus with high-grade lesionsthat is, that affect two-thirds or the entire thickness of the epithelium, “present a high residual risk of cervical cancer and other malignancies linked to infection by the papillomavirus”, recalls a new study published on the British Medical Journal on August 3, relayed by Female version. Based on this observation, and to limit these risks, the researchers carried out tests and came to the following conclusion: administer the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) to infected people at the very moment when the precancerous cells are removed could reduce the risk of recurrence of malignant cells, but also the risk of developing cancer of the cervix or any other pathology.
A vaccine associated with the intervention
To carry out their research, the scientists collected data from 22 studies “relating to the risk of infection by the papillomavirus and recurrence of the disease linked to the infection after local surgical treatment”. After analyzing the data, the researchers revealed that “the risk of recurrence of CIN2+ (high-grade lesions, editor’s note) was reduced in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people”. Thus, vaccination at the time of surgery could reduce “the risk of recurrence of CIN, especially when related to HPV16 or HPV18”, namely the most frequent genotypes.
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Other studies on a larger scale will have to confirm the results obtained by the scientists, who remain cautious. the Guardian reports the reservations expressed by Alice Davies, head of health information at Cancer Research UK: “The study examined whether the vaccine could prevent further cellular changes from occurring after people had received treatment to eliminate the abnormal cells caused by HPV infection. But it is still too early to say whether using the vaccine in this way is beneficial, and high-quality studies and trials are needed.”
As a reminder, Cervical cancer screening is based on performing a smear cervico-uterine to be carried out every three years from the age of 25 and up to the age of 65, underlines the National Cancer Institute.
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