ASCO Supports NCI-Designated Cancer Centers’ Goal of Eliminating HPV-Related Cancers

Sep 10, 2018

ASCO officially endorsed a statement by the 70 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers calling for increased HPV vaccination and screening to eliminate human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers. The full uptake of the vaccine and screening could prevent 12,000 cervical cancers and nearly 40,000 other HPV-related cancers (oropharyngeal, anal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal cancers) among men and women annually in the United States.

Cervical cancer is the most prevalent HPV-related cancer, and the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide; HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for approximately 70% of cervical cancer cases.1

Therefore, ASCO strongly supports the use of the HPV vaccine to reduce the risk of cancer. In April 2016, the Society issued a policy statement supporting the recommendation to markedly increase the proportion of young boys and girls receiving the HPV vaccine in the United States and worldwide, because research has shown that it is most effective in preventing cancer.

Unfortunately, HPV vaccination completion rates across the United States remain low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of U.S. children and young adults age 13 to 17, 49.5% of girls and only 37.5% of boys completed the vaccine series in 2016.

To increase HPV vaccination rates combined with appropriate cervical cancer screening measures, the NCI-designated centers have issued the following call to action that is in alignment with the nation’s Heathy People 2020 goals:

  • Vaccinate more than 80% of boys and girls age 13 to 15 by 2020
  • Screen 93% of age-eligible women for cervical cancer by 2020
  • Provide prompt follow-up and proper treatment of women who screen positive for high-grade cervical precancerous lesions

In addition, the centers strongly encourage:

  • Young men and women up to age 26, who were not previously vaccinated, to complete the recommended HPV vaccine series
  • Health care providers to make clear and strong recommendations for HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening
  • The health care community to educate parents, guardians, community members, and colleagues about the goal of eliminating cancers caused by HPV in the United States

The American Cancer Society, American Association for Cancer Research, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the American Society for Preventive Oncology, and the Association of American Cancer Institutes have joined ASCO in officially endorsing the statement.

Share Cancer.Net information about HPV and cancer with your patients. For more information, check out ASCO's Primary Prevention of Cervical Cancer Resource-Stratified Guideline


  1. de Sanjose S, Quint WG, Alemany L, et al. Lancet Oncol. 2010;11:1048-56.     


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