woman holding HPV vaccine vial

Study Reveals HPV Vaccine Impact on Anal Cancer

In a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology, researchers found evidence that HPV vaccination is reducing the incidence of anal cancer among young adults in the US. 

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch analyzed data from the US Cancer Statistics database from 2001 to 2018 to examine anal cancer incidences among different age groups and determine the potential impact of HPV vaccination. They found that cancer incidence among young adults 20 to 44 years of age began to rapidly and significantly decrease within two years after the 2006 release of the HPV vaccine while rates continued to climb among those over age 44. This is consistent with prior studies which found that cervical cancer also decreased in young adults since vaccine rollout. 

“Our findings highlight the dramatic impact that widespread HPV vaccination could have,” said Dr. Abbey Berenson, lead author of the study and professor of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at UTMB. “This is evidence that the medical community should continue to encourage HPV vaccination among young adolescents to protect future generations against anogenital cancers.”  

According to the 2020 National Immunization Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, amongst just over 20,000 teenagers, about 75.1% of teens had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine and 58.6% were up to date on HPV vaccination. Females continue to have higher rates of HPV vaccination at about 61.4% compared to 56% of males. However, vaccination rates remain well below the 2030 target of 80%.