Mustafa Gawass, Nadia Gantri
Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Tripoli Medical Centre (TMC) Tripoli, Libya
JMJ Vol.8, No.1 (Spring) 2008:15-20
The implication of human papillomavirus (HPV) as the primary aetiological agent of cancer cervix has been firmly established biologically and epidemiologically. Most cancers of the vagina and anus are likewise caused by HPV, as are a fraction of cancers of the vulva, penis, and oropharynx. HPV-16 and 18 account for about 70% of cancers of the cervix, vagina, and anus and for about 30-40% of cancers of the vulva, penis and oropharynx. Other cancers causally linked to HPV are non-melanoma skin cancer and cancer of the conjunctiva. The finding that cervical cancer only occurs in women infected with specific, “high-risk” types of the human papillomavirus has led to the development of novel, non-cytology based cervical cancer prevention strategies. We now have sensitive molecular methods for detecting HPV that dramatically improve our ability to detect high-grade cervical cancer precursor lesions. Perhaps more importantly, prophylactic HPV vaccines have been developed that are protective against cervical cancer precursors caused by HPV 16 and 18. In the Spring of 2006, over 100 experts in HPV, cervical cancer screening, and vaccination worked together to define how best to incorporate HPV DNA testing and the HPV vaccines into cervical cancer prevention efforts. In this summary, we summarize the opinions of this expert group on how these advances can be introduced to provide the maximum benefit to women and to reduce the global burden of cervical cancer.
Keywords: Cancer cervix, Screening, HPV genome, Vaccination