A decade on, vaccine has halved cervical cancer rate
The world's first cancer vaccine has halved the number of new cervical cancers ten years after it was first administered in Australia.
The world’s first cancer vaccine was administered in Australia exactly 10 years ago.
Since then, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine has been rolled out across 130 countries and halved the number of new cervical cancers.
The HPV vaccine also protects against cancers in the throat and mouth in both men and women.
Prof Ian Frazer said the vaccine could eradicate cancers caused by HPV within 40 years.
“It helps not only control cervical cancer but also the oropharyngeal cancer - the cancers inside the mouth that are caused by these viruses,” Prof Frazer, chief executive of the Translational Research Institute, said.
“If we vaccinate enough people we will eliminate these viruses because they only infect humans. And in Australia there’s already been a 90% reduction in infections in the 10 years the programme has been running.”