TAMPA, Fla. – Recognizing a critical need to improve national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), Moffitt Cancer Center has again united with each of the 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in issuing a joint statement in support of recently revised recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Moffitt proudly supports this call to action, in conjunction with our fellow NCI-designated cancer centers, because the choice to vaccinate children today has the potential to virtually eliminate some HPV-related cancers in the future,” said Dr. Thomas Sellers, executive vice president and center director of Moffitt.
According to the CDC, incidence rates of HPV-associated cancers have continued to rise, with approximately 39,000 new cases now diagnosed each year in the United States. Although HPV vaccines can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers, vaccination rates remain low across the United States, with just 41.9 percent of girls and 28.1 percent of boys completing the recommended vaccine series.
The new guidelines from the CDC recommend that children ages 11 to 12 should receive two doses of the HPV vaccine at least six months apart. Adolescents and young adults older than 15 should continue to complete the three-dose series.
“HPV vaccination is our best defense in stopping HPV infection in our youth and preventing HPV-related cancers in our communities,” said Sellers.
Research shows there are a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer.
In an effort to overcome these barriers, NCI-designated cancer centers have organized a continuing series of national summits to share new research, discuss best practices, and identify collective action toward improving vaccination rates.
The original joint statement, published in January 2016, was the major recommendation from a summit hosted at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in November 2015, which brought together experts from the NCI, CDC, American Cancer Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers.
The updated statement is the result of discussions from the most recent summit, hosted this summer by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Nearly 150 experts from across the country gathered in Columbus to present research updates and plan future collaborative actions across NCI-designated cancer centers.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2.5 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.