Monday, April 13, 2015

HPV vaccine for boys could prevent oral cancer, save money

Imagae: courtesy CDC
CANCER DIGEST – April 13, 2015 – The vaccine that prevents cervical cancer in girls may save healthcare dollars if comprehensive vaccination of boys were implemented to prevent oral cancers in boys.

A new study suggests that vaccinating 12-year-old boys against the humanpapilloma virus (HPV) may be a cost-effective strategy for preventing oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer, a cancer that starts at the back of the throat and mouth, and involves the tonsils and base of the tongue.

Donna Graham, and Lillian Siu, MD, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, in Toronto, led a research team that compared the potential costs and effectiveness of vaccinating adolescent boys in Canada against HPV.

Using a statistical model on a population of 192,940 Canadian boys who were 12 years old in 2012, the model showed that savings in diagnosing and treating HPV-related oral cancers over the boys' lifetimes through preventive vaccination could range from $8 million to $28 million Canadian dollars. 

The authors say that by 2020, HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer will become the most common HPV-related cancer in the US, surpassing cervical cancer. The study was published today online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

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