New study shows HPV jab for boys will saves lives
Specialist mouth cancer surgeons welcome findings
25 June 2019 (Last updated: 25 Jun 2019 15:02)
The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) has welcomed new study findings from the two-year Cancer Research UK-funded study in Scotland that the HPV vaccination for boys may substantially reduce head and neck cancer.
BAOMS had been involved in successfully lobbying for the extension to the HPV to boys last year in England and Northern Ireland. Typically, life-threatening HPV-related cancers can develop during middle age, but boys had been excluded from the national HPV vaccination programme. Since the UK-wide immunisation scheme for girls aged 12 and 13 was introduced in 2008, data shows a reduction of up to 90% of pre-cancerous cells in the smear tests among women aged 20.
BAOMS Chair Patrick Magennis explained that the cost of treating just HPV-driven mouth and throat cancer to the NHS is approximately £30m a year: “Between 2010 and 2012 nearly 2,000 men had HPV-related head and neck cancer. Over half of these oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV, and in the last decade alone the incidence of these cancers has doubled in the UK population.”
He welcomed the publication of the new study, which found that over two years 235 male patients in Scotland with head and neck cancer HPV was present in 60% of cases. The findings follow an earlier report, which suggested routine vaccination of schoolgirls in Scotland with HPV had led to a dramatic reduction in cervical disease in later life.
Oral and maxillofacial cancer surgeons’ specialist skills include removing mouth, jaw and tongue cancer and replacing the missing parts with flesh and bone borrowed from the leg, hip or arm. They say that effective and timely cancer treatment for HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer has excellent survival results. But patients frequently have serious and debilitating life-long side-effects from treatment that have a profound impact on the quality of life of the cancer survivors.
“Current evidence suggests that vaccination of boys in their teenage years will prevent them from developing HPV-related cancers in middle age. The introduction of male vaccination is timely,” Patrick Magennis said.
For further information and interviews contact: Siân Evans on 020 8674 8921 / 07752 414433 / or BAOMS on 020 7405 8074
Notes to editors
The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) promotes the advancement of education, research and the development of oral and maxillofacial Surgery in Great Britain, and encourages and assists postgraduate education, study and research.
The Cancer Services Committee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England is made up of senior surgeons drawn from the UK Specialist Surgical Associations that include head and neck cancer surgeons: British Association of Head & Neck Oncologists (BAHNO); British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS); British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS); Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT UK); Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG); and colorectal surgeons The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI).
The Cancer Research UK-funded study involved experts from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), Glasgow and Strathclyde universities and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. It was led by an oncologist at Sussex Cancer Centre and was published in the Elsevier Clinical Oncology Journal
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