The incidence rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) associated cancers
continue to rise, with approximately 39,000 new HPV-associated cancers
now diagnosed each year in the United States. Although HPV vaccines can
prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat)
and other genital cancers, vaccination rates remain low.
Across the U.S., just 41.9% of girls and 28.1% of boys
are completing the recommended vaccine series, according to a 2015 CDC
report. In Texas, vaccination rates are even lower, with only 40.9% of girls and 24% of boys completing the vaccine series.
‘The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has once again joined hands with the nation's top cancer centers in support of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for cancer prevention.’
As national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV)
remain low, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has again
united with the 68 other National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated
cancer centers in issuing a joint statement endorsing the recently
revised vaccination recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC).
The new CDC guidelines recommend 11- to 12-year-old boys and girls
receive two doses of the 9-valent HPV vaccine at least six months apart.
Adolescents and young adults 15 and older should continue to complete
the three-dose series.
"This collaborative effort is a tremendous opportunity to raise
awareness of these new recommendations and the importance of HPV
vaccination, knowing that most people will be exposed to HPV at some
point in their lives," said Lois Ramondetta, professor of
Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine. "We hope that requiring
two shots instead of three will make it easier for children to be
vaccinated, bringing rates closer to the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80
"MD Anderson is pleased once again to join with the nation's top
cancer centers in strong and unified support of HPV vaccination for
cancer prevention," said Ernest Hawk, vice president and division
head, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. "In the spirit of the
White House Cancer Moonshot, we must continue to work collaboratively to
take advantage of effective cancer prevention strategies that can save
thousands of lives in the future."
Through its HPV-related Cancers Moon Shot Program, established in
2015, MD Anderson has made a commitment to reducing the incidence and
mortality of HPV-related malignancies by raising awareness and
identifying practical solutions to improve vaccination rates. MD
Anderson's Moon Shots Program is an unprecedented effort and novel
organizational model designed to more rapidly convert scientific
discoveries into life-saving advances.
"Research indicates several barriers limit acceptance of the
vaccine, including inadequate parental education and a lack of strong
recommendations from health care providers," said Ramondetta, who is
also co-lead of the moon shot. "As oncologists who routinely witness the
devastating effects of these diseases, we urge all pediatricians to
recommend HPV vaccinations and prevent their patients from becoming our
Recognizing the need for collective action to overcome these
barriers, NCI-designated cancer centers have organized an ongoing series
of national summits to share research findings and discuss best
practices for improving vaccination rates.
MD Anderson hosted experts from the NCI, CDC, American Cancer
Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers in a
summit in November 2015. The original joint statement, published in
January 2016, was a major recommendation of those in attendance.
The current endorsement is the result of discussions from the most
recent summit, hosted this summer by The Ohio State University
Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and
Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Approximately 150 experts from
across the country gathered in Columbus to present research updates and
plan future collaborative actions across NCI-designated cancer centers.
"I am extremely encouraged that all of these institutions,
representing the leaders in our country's cancer care and research, are
working collaboratively together toward this common goal," said Hawk.
"We hope our collective action will inspire confidence in parents, young
adults and physicians to take advantage of this rare opportunity to
prevent several cancers in the next generation."