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Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in the Prevention of Cervical Neoplasia
  1. Katharine Astbury, MRCOG, FRCSI*, and
  2. Michael J. Turner, FRCOG, FRCPI, MAO*,
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Coombe Women's Hospital;
  2. Gynaecology Oncology Department, St Jame's Hospital; and
  3. School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Katharine Astbury, MRCOG, FRCSI, Gynaecology Oncology Department, St Jame's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. E-mail: kathastbury{at}


Cervical cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality for women worldwide. Although the introduction of comprehensive screening programs has reduced the disease incidence in developed countries, it remains a major problem in the developing world. The recent licensing of 2 vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 and HPV-18, the viruses responsible for 70% of cervical cancer cases, offers the hope of disease prevention. In this article, we review the role of HPV in the etiology of cervical cancer and the evidence to support the introduction of vaccination programs in young women and discus the potential obstacles to widespread vaccination. In addition, we discuss the issues that remain to be elucidated, including the potential need for booster doses of the vaccine and the role of concomitant vaccination in men.

  • Human papillomavirus
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vaccination

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