Eliminating HPV-Related Cancers

portrait of blockquote author

"The world has lost a pioneer in the field of oncoviruses and cervical cancer etiology. Dr. Harald zur Hansen received a Nobel Prize for discovering the role human papillomavirus played in the development of cervical cancer. His work led to the creation of the HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical and many other HPV related cancers. His contributions to cancer prevention continues to inspire our work in our Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer (CIIRC)."

- Dr. Anna Giuliano, founding director of CIIRC

Imagine making cancer something from the past.

Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by a virus, HPV.

With vaccine, screening and treatment we can eliminate cervical cancer, with other HPV-related cancers in males and females to follow.

Imagine the lives that could be saved in the United States and around the world.

In 2015, 43,371 cases of cancer in the U.S. were caused by HPV. Worldwide about 630,000 HPV-related cancers are diagnosed each year.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus. About 80% of people will get an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime, but most infections are cleared by a person’s immune system. Some infections don’t go away, although researchers don’t understand why. Those that persist can lead to pre-cancer and cancer. One out of 20 cancers is caused by HPV. 

What kinds of cancers does HPV cause?

  • Cervical
  • Vaginal
  • Vulvar
  • Anal
  • Penile
  • Head and neck 

What can I do about HPV and HPV-related cancers?

Get Vaccinated: HPV vaccines protect against the most common types of HPV that cause cancer. The vaccine is recommended for males and females ages 9-45 years old. The Florida Department of Health provides the vaccine for free up age 18 years. In Florida, the HPV vaccine is covered by health insurance for those ages 9-26 years.

Get screened: Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. Screening tests can find abnormal (precancerous) cells so they can be treated before they turn into cancer. At this time there are no screening tests for the other types of cancers caused by HPV (e.g. anal, head and neck, penile).

Talk to your doctor: If you have any questions about HPV and your risk for HPV-related cancers, talk to your doctor.

FAQs on HPV and HPV vaccines are available on the CDC website.
Learn more in our Infographic: HPV Vaccine is Key to Preventing Certain Cancers.

Online Resources

What is Moffitt doing about HPV and HPV-related cancers?

  • Research
    • Natural history of HPV
    • Vaccine trials
    • Factors influencing vaccine recommendation and uptake
    • Improving treatment of HPV-related cancers

Moffitt faculty members conducting this research are Jennifer BinningJimmy Caudell, Shannon ChristyChristine Chung, Anna CoghillHeiko Enderling, Anna Giuliano, Shari Pilon-ThomasJulian SanchezPhilippe Spiess, Susan Vadaparampil, and Bruce Wenig

Want to get involved?