Dr. Cathrine Hoyo, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University School of Medicine, presented new research at the Oct. 28, 2013, session of the International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research that shows the current human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines do not target the forms of HPV that black women are most susceptible to.
The researchers examined 572 participants - 280 African-American women and 292 non-Hispanic white women – with pap smears and additional tests and found that the most frequent HPV subtypes detected among white women with early precancerous cervical abnormalities were 16, 18, 56, 39, and 66, while HPV subtypes 33, 35, 58, and 68 were the most common in African-Americans.
In women with advanced precancerous cervical abnormalities, HPV 16, 18, 33, 39, and 59 were the most common in white women. HPV 31, 35, 45, 56, 58, 66 and, 68 were the most prevalent subtypes found in African-American women.
The two HPV vaccines that are presently available to women target HPV 16 and HPV 18. HPV 16 and HPV 18 cause 70 percent of cervical cancers.
A new vaccine that targets HPV subtypes (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58) is in phase III clinical trials but it does not target the three subtypes HPV 35, 66, and 68 that the researchers found were most common in black women.