AIIMS boffins' discovery could eliminate 75pc of cervical cancers in northern India

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Washington, Oct 11 (ANI): A new discovery by researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences can eliminate 75 percent of the cervical cancer among women in Northern India.

They have identified two common types of HPV viruses responsible for causing cervical cancer, a vaccination for which could eliminate 75 percent of the disease in the region.

"In terms of cancer death, India has one fourth of the global burden and when you standardize for age it is the highest in the world," said A. Raj Kumar Patro, a doctoral student in the Department of Microbiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

"Most women present with an advanced state of the disease and compliance with treatment is very poor," Patro added.

For the study, Patro and colleagues examined 106 North Indian women with invasive cervical cancer, 524 women with an unhealthy cervix and a community-based population of women who underwent HPV testing.

They found two common types of viruses HPV-16 and HPV-18.

The study also showed that in the women with invasive cervical cancer, 83 percent were linked with HPV-16 or HPV-18. Of those who presented with an unhealthy cervix, 15.5 percent had HPV.

HPV-16 and HPV-18 were associated with 34.3 percent of normal disease, 45.4 percent of low-grade disease and 65.7 percent of high grade disease. Overall HPV prevalence in the community cohort was 7 percent.

Patro said the HPV vaccine is generally well received in India, with none of the moral or religious objections like those seen in the United States. However, economics remains a significant barrier.

"The vaccine is better accepted than screening in most cases, but it is difficult for most of the population to purchase it at the current price," said Patro.

"At present it is purchased by the upper classes and if it becomes freely available through advocacy and outreach efforts, it could reach the general population," Patro added.

The study was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Basic Cancer Research Meeting. (ANI)

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