HealthDay News — Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines protect against cervical precancer in adolescent girls and young women, according to a review published online May 9 in the Cochrane Library.

Marc Arbyn, MD, from the Belgian Cancer Centre in Brussels, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the harms and protection of prophylactic HPV vaccines against cervical precancer and HPV16/18 infection using data from 26 trials with 73,428 participants.

The researchers found that in high-risk HPV-negative adolescent girls and women, HPV vaccines reduced cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)2+, CIN3+, and adenocarcinoma in situ associated with HPV16/18 compared with placebo, with high-certainty evidence that vaccines reduce CIN2+ from 162 to two per 10,000 and CIN3+ from 70 to 0 per 10,000. Vaccines reduced CIN2+ associated with HPV16/18 from 113 to 6 per 10,000 among those aged 15 to 26 years who were HPV 16/18-negative. The absolute and relative risk reduction was smaller for women aged 24 years and older (from 45 to 14 per 10,000). Regardless of HPV DNA status, HPV vaccine reduced the risk of CIN2+ associated with HPV16/18 from 341 to 157 per 10,000 in younger women. Similar reductions were seen for CIN3+. For women of all ages, the risk of serious adverse events was similar between control and HPV vaccines.

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“There is high-certainty evidence that HPV vaccines protect against cervical precancer in adolescent girls and young women aged 15 to 26 years,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text