FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Study: Males get some HPV cancer protection when female partners vaccinated

Men derive some cancer protection from HPV-vaccinated female partners, a study suggests.
Men derive some cancer protection from HPV-vaccinated female partners, a study suggests. | Courtesy of
A recent study conducted in the Netherlands shows that males indirectly benefit when female sex partners receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, but that males are still at risk for certain cancers that are associated with HPV.

Because HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, many nations require females to receive vaccinations for the virus. The vaccine is intended to protect females from contracting cervical cancer.

Studies suggest that the vaccine may also protect both men and women from certain cancers. This potential has caused some nations to call for vaccinating both boys and girls. As of today, only a handful of nations -- including the U.S., Austria, Australia and two provinces in Canada -- recommend that both genders receive the HPV vaccine.

The recent study, conducted in Amsterdam, was launched to determine whether males benefited from the HPV vaccine, as some originally believed. Pulling data from the national cancer registry and epidemiological studies in the Netherlands, analysts assessed how cancers related to HPV (penile, anal and certain throat cancers) among both heterosexual and homosexual men.

Before receiving the vaccine, approximately 15 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), which are a combined measure of the quantity and quality of life, were lost per 1,000 men because of HPV-related preventable cancers. The study showed that approximately 800 boys would need to receive the vaccine to protect just one man from cancer. If 90 percent of girls receive the vaccine, HPV-related cancers would decrease by 66 percent.

The researchers encourage nations to focus on vaccinating girls before vaccinating boys.