Prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are now available and vaccination programs are being widely implemented, targeting adolescent girls prior to sexual debut. Since the risk of HPV exposure persists throughout a woman's sexual life, the duration of protection provided by vaccination is critical to the overall vaccine effectiveness. We report the long-term efficacy and immunogenicity of the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine (Cervarix®) up to 8.4 y after the first vaccine dose.
In an initial placebo-controlled study performed in US, Canada and Brazil, women aged 15–25 y with normal cervical cytology, HPV-16/18 seronegative by ELISA, DNA-negative for 14 oncogenic HPV types by PCR, received either the HPV-16/18 vaccine or placebo (n = 1,113). Subjects were followed up to 6.4 y after the first dose (n = 776). We report an additional 2-y follow-up for women enrolled from the Brazilian centers from the initial study (n = 436).
During the current follow-up study (HPV-023, NCT00518336), no new infection or lesions associated with HPV-16/18 occurred in the vaccine group. Vaccine efficacy over the entire follow-up (up to 8.4 y) was 95.1% (84.6, 99.0) for incident infection, 100% (79.8, 100) for 6-mo persistent infection, 100% (56.1, 100) for 12-mo persistent infection and 100% (< 0, 100) for CIN2+ associated with HPV-16/18. All women in the vaccine group remained seropositive to both HPV-16/18, with antibody titers for total and neutralizing antibodies remaining several-folds above natural infection levels. The safety profile was clinically acceptable for both vaccine and control groups. This is, to date, the longest follow-up study for a licensed cervical cancer vaccine.