Fifteen Dutch hospitals are participating in a study on the vaccination of women after a procedure to prevent cervical cancer. The hope is that women will become resistant to human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer.
A very small study showed that women who are already carriers of HPV can also benefit from vaccination. Currently, 12-year-old girls are already being vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus. This reduces the chance of getting cervical cancer by 70% to 80%.
Cervical cancer affects about 700 women every year in the Netherlands, of whom 200 die. Hundreds of women will undergo medical treatment because they will discover problem cells. These cells are removed to prevent cancer of the cervix. However, the virus remains present and every time this operation is made the chance of a preterm birth increases.
The research, which is being conducted by Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland and Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, focuses on women who have already undergone this medical procedure. It should make them resistant to HPV and thus reduce the risk of cervical cancer, new operations and premature birth. 800 women can participate, some of whom receive a placebo.