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Risk for HPV May be Higher than Reported

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Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

It has long been reported that the risk of HPV progressing to a significant level of precancerous and subsequently cancerous lesion are very low. I have long been concerned regarding just how accurate this information may be.

The rates of cervical cancer over the past half a century have dropped dramatically as a result of cervical screening programs which can identify abnormalities in advance of their becoming cancerous. As a direct result of these programs, high-grade lesions (CIN2, CIN3 and CIS also known as carcinoma in situ) are routinely treated and removed in an attempt to eliminate the potential for cancer.

HPV however, like many other contagious conditions, is not a reportable infection like chlamydia or hepatitis. There is the potential for far more of these lesions to exist because there also is no repository from which to study and track the numbers of these high-grade lesions.

However HPV is known to cause multiple other cancers aside from cervical. One of the most significant is anal cancer. While this cancer has an extremely high cure rate if identified and treated early in its course, all too often it is misdiagnosed as bleeding hemorrhoids thus delaying a true diagnosis for months or even years.

Just like cervical HPV, anal HPV progresses from small changes within the cells and over time increasingly abnormal changes which eventually will result in cancer.

For the most part, HPV and the associated conditions have long been “women’s diseases” while recent studies in both North and South America have shown that 50 percent of men have HPV. Obviously this information is something which the public needs to know and for which men need to take responsibility since they can transmit the virus to women.

In recent studies referenced by Dr. Joel Palefsky, one of the leading HPV researchers and infectious disease specialists in the United States, anal HPV infection was shown to be present in 60 percent of normal healthy women, while only 50 percent were shown to have cervical HPV infections. This indicates that anal HPV infection is more prevalent than previously thought.

Dr. Palefsky intends to initiate a study which would also create a repository for specimens relating to anal HPV. This could be used to study for early signs of transition to higher-grade lesions and cancer which may be useful in the future in determining those most in need of treatment. Dr. Palefsky will be presenting this proposal to the National Institutes of Health early this month.

What has long been needed is such a repository to adequately determine the risk for high-grade cervical lesions as well. Hopefully someone will follow Dr. Palefsky’s innovative and forward thinking in creating just such a repository.

Webcasts | Joel Palefsky, MD —." Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause. N.P., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2011.

"Anal Cancer: Statistics | Cancer.Net." Doctor-approved cancer information from ASCO | Cancer.Net. N.P., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2011. http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Anal+Cancer?sectionTitle=Statistics

"Cervical Cancer Prevention." THE MEDICAL NEWS | from News-Medical.Net - Latest Medical News and Research from Around the World. N.P., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2011.

Reviewed September 7, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment6 Comments

Just what would prompt your company to do this? It is contained within the literature that the vaccine IS made up of VLPs (virus like particles) in particular the capsid proteins which cover the virus and function to stimulate immune response in the average individual. The fact that such capsid proteins would be found in samples of the vaccine would therefore be of no surprise.
I am also confused as to why your laboratory would need to utilize a "proprietary" method in testing for HPV DNA. DNA amplification has long been used in this process so why would they not utilize what has become the gold standard for identifying HPV DNA? And why, if they are so convinced of their data and its accuracy is the name of the lab not mentioned?
What was the response you received from the FDA? Has your company also notified Merck of these so-called findings?
I can read the numbers you have listed for various condition but fail to understand the purpsoe of your posting them. The vaccine never claimed to prevent all dysplasias or cancers resulting from HPV and there are obviously a dozen or more other high risk strains which can still produce the results you mentioned above. The vaccine is obviously targeted at the two high risk strains which cause 70% of cervical cancers and it has always been recommended that women continue screening even if they have been vaccinated.
Again, listing these figures shows nothing. It does not indicate the strain of virus producing these results or other pertinent information. This is how people are mislead into seeing figures like this and because most people do not have anymore than a limited knowledge of HPV would think these figures indicated the vaccine's ineffectiveness which is nothing but misleading. In addition, only the very first notification to VAERS is accessible by the public. Someone could submit additional information and/or corrections and this information would never be seen by the public (another potential to mislead people and these misrepresentations have been mentioned in the disclaimer listed on the VAERS site).

September 9, 2011 - 6:00pm

And you are correct - there are thousands of medical consumers, doctors and researchers world-wide who are now persuading people not to get this vaccine - especially since a Recombinant HPV DNA has been found in 100% of a small sample of Gardasil vials tested from different countries, lots and manufacturers. This link is to the letter SANE Vax Inc. sent to the FDA on August 29 to report our findings. http://sanevax.org/citizens-speak/hpv-vax/united-states-concerns/

Which brings us back to the 'isolated' group referenced in the 2006 VRBPAC report.

There have now been 387 abnormal pap smears, 144 reports of cervical dysplasia and 41 reports of cervical cancer posted to VAERS with only 1 to 10% of the vaccine injured population reporting.

Thank you for letting me share the concerns of thousands of parents with adversely injured daughters.

September 9, 2011 - 3:18pm

As mentioned above, this concern was expressed regarding one group (#13 in the Merck study group) who were shown to have abnormally high risk factors and which was believed to be attributed to these results.
Despite this, the overwhelming body of data ultimately resulted in the FDA's approval of Gardasil later that same year. I'm not clear as to why you believe that document should be updated or revised. Their concerns were what they were however sufficient information was provided to the FDA to account for the results in that particular group. The FDAs ultimate decision should speak for itself in addition to the fact that since 2006 the FDA has gone on to approve Gardasil for the prevention of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the vagina, vulva and anus.
To continue to focus on one isolated group in a study from over five years ago whose outcomes were sufficiently explained to the FDA such that they ultimately approved the vaccine and disregard the FDAs approval to also expand its use since then is obviously for one purpose only - to persuade people against the use of the vaccine

September 9, 2011 - 6:41am

I am not aware of the May 2006 document being updated or revised by the FDA - are you? If you have that reference I would like to see it so I can relay correct information. Thank you.

September 8, 2011 - 9:13pm

This information was acknowledged as a concerned surround ONE single study amongst dozens and it was determined that the individuals within this group had an abnormally high degree of risk factors. As your reference indicates, this information is from 2006 and no further concerns have been reported from the FDA in this regard.

September 8, 2011 - 6:08pm

Thank you for this excellent article.... The CDC estimates that 25,000,000 women may have been previously exposed to HPV. A significant number....But before your readers run out and get vaccinated with Gardasil or Cervarix they need to be aware of this information reported by the FDA.

If a woman who has been exposed to vaccine-relevant HPV submits to HPV vaccination, her risk of developing precancerous lesions may increase by:
44.6% - post Gardasil® Vaccination
32.5% - post Cervarix ® Vaccination
May 2006 VRBPAC Report -
SANE Vax Inc. http://sanevax.org - has posted an HPV Vaccine Fact Sheet that contains this information and more..... http://sanevax.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/03.27.11-HPV-Vaccine-Fact-Sheet121.pdf

September 8, 2011 - 5:36pm
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