Iranian-made HPV vaccine to be commercialized in months

January 27, 2020 - 23:34

TEHRAN – Production of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (the virus that usually causes cervical cancer in women) is in the final stages of clinical trial and will be launched by the next few months, director of health technology development office of the Ministry of Health, has announced.

According to the plan, the product was expected to enter the domestic market by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20), but sanctions caused problems in its manufacturing process, Hossein Vatanpour said, IRNA reported.

According to Ali Qanbari, head of cancer department at the Ministry of Health, every 3,000 to 4,000 women develop cervical cancer per 100,000, and as the Iranian population is aging, it is predicted that cervical cancer will grow among women over the next two decades.

Referring to HPV virus statistics, he said that 8 percent of adult women are infected with HPV and in the next 10 to 25 years the prevalence of the virus may be higher than expected.

Cervical cancer is a cancer arising from the cervix. It is due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body.

Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) causes more than 90% of cases; most people who have had HPV infections, however, do not develop cervical cancer.

There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 are cancer-causing (also known as high-risk type), which is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people are infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity. Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions.

According to World Health Organization cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 570,000 new cases in 2018 representing 6.6% of all female cancers. Approximately 90% of deaths from cervical cancer occurred in low- and middle-income countries. The high mortality rate from cervical cancer globally could be reduced through a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, early diagnosis, effective screening and treatment programs.

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