Vaccination against cervical cancer and diseases caused by human papillomavirus

Jacob Bornstein, Ruba Tuma, Doron Zarfati, Ela Ophir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Developing the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18 which cause a variety of lesions, in particular cervical cancer, is regarded as a scientific breakthrough and received the FDA and CDC approval. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in women in developing countries. About 490,000 women develop cervical cancer yearly and 230,000 women die yearly of this disease. The vaccine includes a virus-like-particle (VLP) without the genetic core, which could have caused a malignant transformation. The present review describes how HPV causes cancer and how the vaccine has been developed. The large scale studies that have examined the vaccine depicted that it is well received, leads to a high antibody level, and prevents a chronic HPV infection and the diseases that are associated with it. However, several new questions arose, such as: at what age to administer the vaccine and whether it is possible to vaccinate those who had already been infected; for how long the immunity acquired by the vaccine lasts and is it effective in those whose immune system is depressed. Although best results will be achieved if the vaccine is administered to girls prior to sexual intercourse, vaccination at a later age may also be valuable. Previous exposure to the vaccine is not a contraindication to administration of the quadrivalent vaccine and it is not necessary to examine if it has occurred. Cervical cancer screening policy should continue for a few more years.

Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)764-769
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Genital condylomata acuminata
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Vaccine
  • Virus-like-particle


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