Vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India can now make HPV curable and preventable.
Breast cancer is still the number one killer disease in women only to be succeeded by cervical cancer in our country. Across the world, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cause of fatality. Almost 1/4th of the global cervical cancer death rate is found in India. Out of the 1, 25,000 estimated cervical cancer diagnoses, almost 75000 deaths occur from the disease.
Startlingly, almost all cervical cancers are linked to HPV infection occurrence. A solid 83% of all invasive cervical cancers are occurring due to HPV 16 & 18 strains. Thus, this is the reason why HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India is seen as a promising development toward controlling cervical cancer.
The launch of a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India was recently announced to prevent the occurrence of cervical cancer in women induced by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The first indigenous quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Infection (qHPV) that goes by the name of Ceravac is a joint initiative between Department of Biotechnology and the Serum Institute of India.
Using this vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India can bring down cervical cancer -related deaths substantially.
Interesting points about vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India
- Serum Institute of India (SII) pledges to complete one crore doses in India.
- The vaccine is built to target the very high risk HPV strains 16 and 18.
- The vaccine will be present on the surface of the virus.
- Protein growth is made to take place under lab conditions in yeast cells.
- Ceravac will be a VLP vaccine that will act by making antibodies against the L1 protein of the virus.
- The virus lacks the HPV genetic material and hence will not be able to cause cancer itself.
- The cervical cancer vaccine cost in India is somewhere between ₹200 – ₹400 ($2.51 – $5.02).
- SII (Serum Institute of India) gained approval from DGCI (Drugs Controller General of India) to indigenously develop and market HPV vaccine in India.
Facts to know about HPV infection
If you want to know how you can develop HPV, the answer is simple.
- Those who use sex toys might get an infection from sharing sex toys.
- Genital area skin-to-skin contact is a prime factor in getting HPV infection.
- Any sex form- vaginal, oral or anal sex can transmit the virus.
Everyone is susceptible to HPV including women, trans-men, non-binary and intersex people.
But mere HPV infection will not cause cancer, instead, prolonged HPV infection will. Almost 10% have a chronic HPV infection that lasts long in them.
- Another factor worth considering is the type of HPV that infected the target individual.
|Low-risk HPV||Mostly responsible for causing warts||It has nothing to do with cancer|
|High-risk HPV||HPV 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, and the 68th variants||Can cause cancer|
|Very high-risk HPV||HPV 16 and 18||Most prominent cancer-causing viruses|
A few facts are mentioned below to understand and weigh the disease’s risk -benefit ratio of the.
|Most people are infected with HPV within months of becoming sexually active.|
|These people often get infected with the high-risk HPV type.|
|The virus will affect both men and women|
|All HPV infections will not cause cancer|
|Your immune system is strong enough to regulate the HPV infection|
|Persistent high-risk HPV infection can lead to cancer|
|Vaccination, proper diagnosis and treatment can prevent or cure cancer|
Other reasons for developing cervical cancer
- Younger people below 45 years are more susceptible to cervical cancer.
- People suffering from AIDS or HIV with weakened immunity can develop the disease.
- Multiple childbirth or early age birth can also be the cause of cervical cancer.
- If the mother took diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the birth of her child will lead to cervical cancer in the child.
- People with past history of bladder, renal, vaginal, or vulvar cancer can be susceptible to cervical cancer later.
Cancer types caused by HPV
|Type of cancer||Location in the body|
The mode in which HPV leads to cervical cancer
- The prime way of infection is through overexpression of E6/E7 oncoproteins.
- E6/E7 oncoproteins will impact the tumor suppressor genes.
- The primary ones regulated are cell cycle regulating tumour suppressor genes.
- Alters downstream pathways (cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis) causing cancer.
Thus, a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India from HPV is the best way to deal with it.
The vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in India is the only way to control HPV and an indirect way to bring down the cervical cancer rate in India and the world. Ceravac will be administered in all age groups with 2 doses planned for 9-14-year-olds and 3 doses for 15-26-year-old people. Given the high susceptibility of the virus and its contagious nature, HPV is one of the most dreaded of all viruses.
Currently two vaccines for cervical cancer are available in India from US-based pharmaceutical companies; one is a quadrivalent vaccine by Merck available at ₹2,800 ($35.16) per dose and another is a bivalent vaccine called Cervarix from GSK at ₹3,299 ($41.43) per dose. The home-grown vaccine will make the vaccine affordable for the general masses.
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