Significant Decline in Precancerous Cervical Lesions in U.S.

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Proportion of lesions with HPV16/18 fall across age, ethnic groups.

The incidence of precancerous cervical lesions containing human papillomavirus (HPV) declined significantly from 2008 to 2014, as did the HPV strains that cause most cervical cancers, CDC investigators reported.

The number of cases of grade 2+ cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+) reported to the CDC’s HPV Vaccine Impact Monitoring Project (HPV-IMPACT) decreased by 21%, and the proportion of specimens containing HPV16/18 decreased by a third. Declines were observed in all ages but the oldest age group (35-39), most of whom exceeded the age cutoff for vaccination.

The decline coincided with the introduction of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, which targets HPV16/18, and the CIN2+ finding added to previous evidence suggesting a decrease in cervical precancerous lesions, reported Nancy McClung, PhD, RN, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues, online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

“Within eight years of HPV vaccine introduction in the United States, we report an overall declining trend in the proportion and estimated number of cervical precancers caused by HPV vaccine types among 18-39 year-old women,” the authors concluded. “The results of this analysis continue to support the high degree of effectiveness of the HPV vaccine in real-world settings and the rapid reduction of the HPV types that cause 70% of cervical cancers.”

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