ASCO’s Efforts in Vaccination
ASCO is working on two main vaccination initiatives:
- Raising awareness about the importance of vaccines in cancer prevention.
- Implementing concrete strategies to address barriers to vaccine access and acceptance.
Currently, there are two types of FDA-approved vaccines to prevent cancer: Vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) and vaccines against the Hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, and human papillomavirus is the cause of approximately 99.7% of cervical cancer cases. In 2012, there were over 260,000 deaths from cervical cancer worldwide, accounting for 7.5% of female cancer deaths. Additionally, HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers. HPV is also the cause of 91% of anal cancers, 75% of vaginal cancers, 69% of vulvar cancers, and 63% of penile cancers.
- American Society of Clinical Oncology Statement: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination for Cancer Prevention (Bailey, et al. JCO, 2016)
- American Society of Clinical Onoclogy Resource Stratified Guideline: Primary Prevention of Cervical cancer (2017)
- Patient information on HPV and cancer from Cancer.Net
- HPV Infographic
- HPV Vaccination Resource Clearinghouse (American Cancer Society)
Hepatitis B (HBV)
Chronic infection with hepatitis is responsible for 80% of all primary liver cancers worldwide, causing more than 500,000 deaths annually and making it the third leading cause of cancer mortality. The most common risk factor for liver cancer is HBV. Those with chronic HBV infection are 100 times more likely to develop the disease, compared to uninfected people. Since the rate of chronic HBV infections is on the rise in the United States, there is a growing incidence of primary liver cancer. Liver cancer has become one of the three fastest growing cancers in the United States and is now the second deadliest cancer in the country.