What do you think about the new Cervical Cancer Vaccine??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TwinMa, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Here's one of the news stories covering this topic:

    A U.S. advisory panel recommended Thursday that 11- and 12-year-old girls be routinely vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer.

    The National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices also recommended that the vaccine, called Gardasil, be administered to girls as young as 9, at the provider's discretion, and for women up to age 26 who have not previously been vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).

    "The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made a historic vote today to recommend routine use of HPV vaccine for girls aged 11 to 12," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a Thursday news conference. "It's a very important day -- a breakthrough for women's health."

    Some religious conservatives and other critics have expressed concern that giving the vaccine to children could encourage underage sex. But, according to Schuchat, no controversy arose at the panel's recent public meetings.

    The panel's recommendation was hailed by health experts.

    "It's a wonderful thing. It's good news all around," said Dr. Connie L. Trimble, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics and pathology at Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Baltimore. Trimble is working on a therapeutic vaccine for people already infected with the virus.

    The advisory committee also recommended that the vaccine be included in the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free vaccines for children up to age 18 who are eligible for Medicaid, are uninsured or are Native American or Alaskan Native.

    The recommendations will be passed along to the head of the CDC and to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for review, and are expected to be accepted.

    Gardasil, manufactured by Merck & Co., is the first vaccine to protect against HPV, known to cause most cervical cancers.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil earlier this month for girls and women aged 9 to 26. An FDA advisory panel had signed off on the vaccine in May.

    Cervical cancer is the second most common malignant disease in women globally, causing an estimated 290,000 deaths worldwide each year. In the United States, some 10,400 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and 3,700 women will die from the disease.

    The main cause of cervical cancer is continuous infection with HPV, especially HPV 16 and 18, which are spread by sexual contact. The virus also causes precancerous and benign cervical lesions and genital warts, and may be implicated in some anal and oral cancers. An estimated 20 million men and women in the United States are infected with HPV but, for most, the virus shows no symptoms and goes away on its own.

    In a two-year study involving more than 12,000 women, Gardasil was found to be 100 percent effective against four types of human papillomavirus: 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, and 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital wart cases.

    Merck has said the vaccine has the potential to reduce the annual number of new cervical cancer cases around the world from 500,000 to about 150,000, and cut deaths by more than two-thirds, to about 90,000.

    At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology earlier this month in Atlanta, scientists reported that the Gardasil vaccine was also 100 percent effective against vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions caused by HPV types 16 and 18.

    Like many other vaccinations, Gardasil will require three shots over six months. Even with the vaccine, women would still need to be screened for cervical cancer caused by other types of HPV, experts noted. This is most often accomplished by having a Pap test, which is still a very accurate indicator of a woman's cervical condition.

    It's unclear whether insurance providers will pay for the cost of the vaccine -- estimated to be $120 -- for children not covered under the Vaccines for Children Program.

    "We are hopeful that managed care will pick this up," Schuchat said. "Working on ensuring access is very important."

  2. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Have you seen any studies where they tested it on men? I agree with you--give it to them, too! But let's start with young girls.

    I think this is truly remarkable and wonderful news. This vaccine will save many lives and save many women from terrible suffering.

    Vaccines against cancer--always hoped I'd see it in my lifetime. Chalk one up for researchers!
  3. hanna4175

    hanna4175 New Member

    my neighbour brought this to my attention a couple of weeks ago.. and she wants her daughter to get it.. i have mixed feelings about it.. what if there are major side effects and a little girl of that age gets terribly sick or worse from it?? im not sure.. if i had a daughter im not sure i would want to do it.. but thats just my opinion..

  4. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    First, this vaccine targets ONLY 2 Strains of HPV which have been linked to Cervical Cancer. So the other 98 strains can still get ya.

    The following are comments/articles taken from Dr. Mercolas website, and I fully agree.

    The vaccine, Gardasil, isn't cheap ($360 for three shots administered over six months) and it's made by Merck, the "safety-first" drugmaker that brought us Vioxx.

    What's more, the HPV vaccine is completely unnecessary, based on a study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine that found young women whose male partners always used a condom during intercourse were 70 percent less likely to contract a HPV-related infection
    Cervical Cancer Vaccine -- A Shameful Example of How Medical Research is Taking Dangerous Short-Cuts

    By Nicholas Regush

    Whenever you see or hear the word "breakthrough" in a medical news report, duck for cover. Chances are someone’s imagination is hard at work.

    The latest medical frenzy involved a vaccine aimed at cervical cancer. The study was published in the November 21 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

    The Reuters News Agency provided this lead: "A vaccine against a cervical cancer-causing virus can protect young women from infection - a success researchers hope will eventually allow them to prevent many cases of cervical cancer."

    The virus referred to is the human papillomavirus (HPV).

    Reuters quoted Dr. Christopher P. Crum of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as saying: "This is a great study."

    Let’s move on.

    CBSNews.com’s headline asked the question: "Major Cancer Breakthrough?" Then the report proceeded to quote researchers in this manner: "It’s really the first time that a vaccine has been shown to prevent directly a pre-cancerous condition and indirectly a cancerous condition." That quote was attributed to Dr. Carol Brown, a gynacologic oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

    Over at the New York Times, at least the headline was more circumspect: "Experimental Vaccine Appears To Prevent Cervical Cancer." The "deck" or the line underneath the main headline might have read this way: "Appearances Can Be Deceiving." However, the Times chose to report: "The vaccine works by making people immune to a sexually transmitted virus [human papillomavirus] that causes many cases of the disease."

    The Times quoted Dr. Laura A. Koutsky of the University of Washington in Seattle, the study’s director, as saying: "These are tremendous results."

    The Chicago Tribune bought the study too. Its lead paragraph referred to the fact that "after decades of failure," scientists showed early success in preventing human papilloma infection, "which is linked to cervical cancer."


    First, Some Background And A Question Raised

    Cervical cancer, arising in the lining of the cervix, affects about 13,000 women in the U.S. each year. About 4,000 die. Worldwide, a half million get the disease and 225,000 die.

    Back in the 1970s, herpes simplex virus (HSV) was proposed as the sexually-transmitted cause of cervical cancer, based mostly on population studies that showed a correlation of the disease with HSV DNA. That approach shifted to HPV in the 1980s, and over the years population studies set the pace for the now well-accepted view that cervical cancer is strongly related to the transmission of HPV.

    This is a group of more than 100 viruses, about 30 of which are said to be linked to cervical cancer. Of these 30 or so, HPV-16 is said to be found in 50 percent of cervical cancers. HPV-18 accounts for another 20 percent.

    In addition to the population studies that link HPV to cervical cancer, there is, for example, research showing that HPV viral DNA can be found integrated in the genetic structure of cervical cancers.

    Back in 1992, however, a question was raised about the dominant and increasingly entrenched theory that HPV causes cervical cancer. It came from Peter Duesberg and Jody Schwartz, molecular biologists at the University of California at Berkeley.

    Among the various issues they raised about the acceptance of HPV as the cause of cervical cancer was their fundamental concern that there was a lack of consistent HPV DNA sequences and consistent HPV gene expression in tumors that were HPV-positive. They instead suggested that "rare spontaneous or chemically induced chromosome abnormalities which are consistently observed in both HPV and HSV DNA-negative and positive cervical cancers induce cervical cancer."

    In short, Duesberg and Schwartz were pointing to the possibility that "carcinogens may be primary inducers of abnormal cell proliferation rather than HPV or HSV." And here’s the key point: "Since proliferating cells [cancer cells dividing wildly] would be more susceptible to infection than resting cells, the viruses would just be indicators rather than causes of abnormal proliferation."

    The concept they raised back in 1992 is still relevant today; only science has gone on to assume that causation of cervical cancer has been well established. Even the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says that "direct" causation has not been demonstrated; however, the NCI and just about everyone else works with the principle that it has been established. Lip service is paid to other possible factors that may be involved in cervical cancer such as environmental conditions, including smoking. Even dietary factors -- particularly low levels of Vitamin A and folate -- have been suggested as associated with a risk for cervical cancer.

    But once a vaccine to prevent HPV infection is raised as a weapon to prevent cervical cancer, then it’s pretty clear that the medical Establishment has gone all the way in accepting a theory. And it’s also quite evident in some of the comments listed above that have been made to reporters.

    The headline to the accompanying editorial to the study in the NEJM screams out:

    "The Beginning of the End for Cervical Cancer?"

    This editorial is more or less an ode to the research published.

    But the published research doesn’t necessarily deserve any praise. Why? Because the study is a disgrace.

    A Worthless Study

    When I first reviewed the study, I couldn’t believe the NEJM was putting this research on such a high footing -- and that includes the embarrassing editorial.

    Essentially this is what the study is about: Of 2,392 young women who were entered into the study, 859 were excluded from the final data analysis -- some for technical reasons and the vast majority because they were actually found to be infected with HPV-16 before getting the vaccine.

    Of 1,533 women who remained, half were given the vaccine and half the placebo shot.

    The results were as follows: No one who was vaccinated developed an HPV-16 infection or a precancerous growth. Of those who received the placebo shot, 41 women became infected with HPV-16, and nine of them had precancerous cervical growths.

    On the surface, at least interesting for an early study. But those results became the focus of great jubilation.

    But I’ll tell you this: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the study’s methodology is flawed to such a degree that it doesn’t even deserve to be published in some throwaway journal. But then again, the NEJM has, of late, become a depository for bad science.

    Still, given that the entire world of health journalism seems to have piled on the bravos for this study and just about every vaccine specialist has come out of the woodwork to applaud yet another vaccine effort, I figured that I would seek out someone who has the guts to face up to the bilge that masquerades as science. I therefore got hold of Howard Urnovitz, who is a scientist dealing in molecular issues and a regular contributor to redflagsweekly.com.

    His first reply was that "this is a poorly designed study that fits all-too-well into the legacy of medical incompetence called vaccine research."

    Here is what Urnovitz had to say, pretty well reaching the same conclusions that I reached upon careful review of this study:

    "These investigators initially enrolled 2,392 women to take part in the study. Immediately, 36 percent were disqualified primarily because they had detectable HPV markers, according to the study’s authors, who determined HPV-detectability by either antibody or PCR testing. In other words, the study selected for women who showed some sort of robust natural immunity that kept them from expressing the HPV markers.

    Then the study used a cancer detection method which is known to be inaccurate, with a rate of false negative test results that ranges from 1 percent to 93 percent, despite the fact that it is the only test currently available in the United States to screen women for signs of cervical cancer. (A false negative result means that women who have cervical cancer or precancerous tissues are not being identified when they have a Pap smear.)"

    The women in this study are only monitored for HPV infection if they show a positive Pap smear. But since even the CDC recognizes that the Pap test produces a wide range of false negative results, the HPV study’s foundation -- the Pap test -- is so unreliable that the rest of the study is rendered highly suspect.

    "Also, the HPV test is poorly designed. A positive result was defined as any PCR signal that exceeded the background PCR level associated with an HPV-negative sample of human DNA. This is a risky protocol because PCR tests are plagued with false positive reactions (a positive signal that is not a true detection of the target). Since the authors show no data or reference to data on a secondary test that confirms the gene sequence of a positive signal, they cannot conclude that they are measuring HPV."

    So here is what the study really amounts to. Again, I’ll defer to Urnovitz because he lays it very cleanly on the line:

    "The proper conclusion of this study should be: Administration of this HPV-16 vaccine reduced the incidence of an uncharacterized PCR signal from a poorly defined cohort which was strongly biased toward a natural immunity.

    Finally, press suggestions or those from the authors that young girls will soon be given a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer are ridiculously premature.

    As an aside (make of it what you will), given the great new honesty in medicine these days, it was noted in the NEJM that "some co-authors on the study are with Merck Research Laboratories which developed the vaccine and provided the funding."

    Red Flags Weekly November 25, 2002


    Dr. Mercola's Comment

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just get a shot, or in the future just eat a plant that is reengineered to contain a vaccine that would rid of us cancer? Of course it would.

    Unfortunately that is not the way our bodies were designed. Cancer prevention is not as simplistic as taking a vaccination. Maintaining a high level of immune integrity is the key, and this is done through the basics of emotional balancing, optimized nutrition, avoidance of toxins, proper sleep, exercise and hydration.

    This research is clearly another deceptive ploy by Merck to generate revenue for their vaccine division in exchange for the delusional hope that a vaccine will reduce the risk of cancer.

    Nicholas Regush writes an excellent review on this topic, which he is quite familiar with as a result of his review of the literature on HHV6 for his worthwhile book The Virus Within.


  5. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Well, here's what I think:

    I used to be all in favor of vaccines. I think they can be life=saving things. However -

    News has recently come out that things other than regular vaccine ingredients have been added, making vaccines more dangerous than the diseases they are meant to prevent.

    So, I am in a quandry. I don't take vaccines, myself, because of my immune system. However, I think it is up to each personn to decide. Personally, I no longer feel that everyone should be vaccinated for everything.

  6. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I also heard, along with the good info above, that they could actually start the girls at age nine.

    Supposedly it is very safe and works. My vote is a two thumbs up for the vaccine.

  7. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    Not only personal responsibility, but imagine how many will falsely believe this could protect them from all STDs and not use condoms consistently. And, If one did use condoms consistently, this would prevent 70% of STDs, the same rate as boasted by the vaccine. EVERYONE not in a long term monogomous relationship and test results to prove status, should be using condoms anyway.

    AND, don't you think that boys, in general, are more promiscuous than girls? Why aren't they tooting this for boys/men, the girls got to get it (the STD) from somewhere? Not that I would EVER recommend my son or daughter get this vaccine.
  8. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Getting a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and to prevent genital warts in no way replaces personal responsibility.

    It also does not replace the need to use condoms to prevent STD's.

    Those are still incredibily important things to teach young people.

    It also does not encourage sexual promiscuity.

    It does NOT replace the need for PAP & HPV testing.

    It is simply one more tool to help prevent diseases that are causing pain and suffering.

    Whether cervical cancer is highly treatable or not, I think it is better to NOT get the disease in the first place.

    9 year old girls will eventually become sexually active young women. Unless they are going to become nuns. This doesn't mean they will become promiscuous. However, the reality is that young women will most likely sleep with more than one person in their lifetime. As will the men they marry. That is just reality.

    Protecting them from the strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts is a GOOD thing.

    This is a separate issue from social and personal responsibility.

    I really feel that this is a good thing and that this is real progress towards ridding ourselves of other cancers.

    I'm really quite surprised at the negative reaction to this vaccine.

    I do agree that long term effects have not been tested, but this is so promising and gives so much hope. I feel it is in the same leage as the polio vaccine and MMR vaccine. Those are GOOD things too. Although I'm sure there are people here who will argue that they have their downsides, too.

    I really have more to say on this, but I am leaving for the weekend.

    I am hoping others who are FOR this vaccine will chime in. I respect the opinions of those who are AGAINST it, but disagree with the reasoning.

    Here is a Q & A session from WebMD for further infomation:

    June 8, 2006 -- The FDA has approved Gardasil, a vaccine that targets the virus responsible for most cervical cancers and genital wartsgenital warts. Here are 12 questions and answers on the new vaccine.

    1. What is Gardasil?

    Gardasil is a vaccine that targets four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Those strains are called HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, and HPV-18.

    HPV-16 and HPV-18 account for about 70% of all cervical cancers. Cervical cancerCervical cancer is cancercancer of the cervix, which connects the vagina to the uterus.

    HPV-6 and HPV-11 account for about 90% of genital wartswarts.

    The vaccine is also approved to help prevent vaginal and vulvar cancers, which can also be caused by HPV.

    2. How does HPV spread?

    HPV is spread through sex. HPV infection is common. About 20 million people in the U.S. are infected with HPV, and by age 50, at least 80% of women will have had an HPV infection, according to the CDC.

    Most women with HPV infection don't develop cervical cancer.

    3. Does Gardasil protect against all cervical cancers?

    No. Though the vaccine protects against leading causes of cervical cancer, it doesn't ward off other causes of cervical cancer.

    4. How effective is Gardasil?

    Studies have shown 100% effectiveness in protecting against infection with HPV-16 and HPV-18 strains in people who had not been previously exposed to the virus.

    5. How long does Gardasil last?

    Tests show that the vaccine lasts at least four years. Long-term results aren't known yet.

    6. Does the vaccine contain a live virus?

    No. Gardasil contains a virus-like particle, but not the virus itself.

    7. Who should get the vaccine?

    The FDA approved Gardasil for girls and women aged 9-26. The FDA's decision doesn't automatically make the vaccine part of the CDC's recommended vaccine schedule.

    The drug company Merck, which makes Gardasil, reportedly is studying the vaccine in women up to age 45 and may seek to broaden the approval group based on those results.

    Merck is also continuing to research use of the vaccine in boys and men, as they can also become infected with HPV, which could lead to genital warts.

    Merck is a WebMD sponsor.

    8. Is Gardasil safe?

    Reports from clinical trials, to date, show Gardasil to be safe.

    9. Will Gardasil protect women from cervical cancer who've already been exposed to HPV?

    Gardasil is not designed to protect people who've already been exposed to HPV.

    10. Will the new vaccine eliminate the need for cervical cancer screening?

    No. Gardasil doesn't protect against all causes of cervical cancer, so screening (such as the Pap test) will still be needed. Screening is essential to detect cancer and precancerous lesions caused by other HPV types. Screening will also continue to be necessary for women who have not been vaccinated or are already infected with HPV.

    11. Are there other cervical cancer vaccines?

    Gardasil is the first cervical cancer vaccine to be approved. In fact, it's the first vaccine to protect against a risk factor for a cancer. Another cervical cancer vaccine, called Cervarix, is also in the works. It's expected to be submitted for approval by the end of 2006.

    12. How many people get cervical cancer and die from the disease?

    About 9,710 cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2006, predicts the American Cancer Society.

    About 3,700 U.S. women will die of cervical cancer in 2006, according to the American Cancer Society.

    Worldwide, cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths for women. According to the FDA there are 470,000 new cases and 233,000 deaths each year.


    Again, I am leaving for the weekend, so will not be back on the board until next Thursday.

    I'd really like to read the responses in this thread, so everyone please behave!

    [This Message was Edited on 07/01/2006]
  9. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ...and between rounds of chemo, I'm pretty interested in anything that can possibly keep someone from going through what I'm going through now.

    I agree with not being too enthused with the preservatives in many vaccines...and also understand that this does not protect against ALL forms of cervical cancer. Yet it might keep SOME women (and their families) from having to hear those awful words "You have cancer"...

    Just another point of view...

  10. ANNXYZ

    ANNXYZ New Member

    I have reservations about the safety of a lot of vaccines , I agree w/ the reasoning of Twinma.

    I have come to the conclusion that no matter what having sex seems to be the norm for humans ! And , most will have sex w/ more than one person in their lifetime .

    I know girls ( personally ) who contracted HPV from their first and only sex partner .

    The basic idea of a vaccine being available sounds reasonable considering the gravity of cancer . However,
    we do have to keep in mind that vaccines have CAUSED problems in some cases .
  11. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    it needs more testing .I am one that thinks all of us may have FM/CFS could have it because of vaccines we took as children.

    I would not have taken this myself .I would not give it to a young child.
  12. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    it would really be nice to see a vacine for fms/cfids!:)

  13. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    This is all new to me. How do viruses cause cancer? How long have we known about this? How do we explain the upsurge in cancer in recent years? Are all cancers caused by viruses?

    ((sorry, newbie)) Shannon
  14. optimistic1

    optimistic1 New Member

    I, for one, would be very hesitant to take such a new vaccine. I will encourage my daghters to hold off on this for their daughters til we learn more and see results. The fact that it has been developed by Merck, the same company that made Vioxx, doesn't help either.

    This is such a wonderful idea and I hope it works. I guess I am just too skeptical.

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