As a healthcare professional, a colleague asks your opinion as to which HPV strains should be covered in a new treatment. Based on your reading from the Sarid and Gao 2011 article, what would your recommendation be, and when should the treatment be administered? What evidence supports your opinion? Keep in mind a cost/benefit analysis, as the cost of developing a vaccine for each strain can get very pricey! (You should not indicate “all of them” in your answer, unless you have strong supportive evidence).
While many HPV strains have been indicated in the presence of cervical cancer, the most pressing HPV strains that should be addressed in treatment should be the strains under the High Risk category for carcinogenicity. Of these the most important to focus on first with funding are types: 31, and 45. Considering these strains make up 80% of the cervical cancer cases in Sarid and Gao’s 2011 “Viruses and Human Cancer: From Detection to Causality,” these specific strains of HPV have the widest spread and symptomatic virulence among the general populace. The research that should be done toward making a vaccine should foster treatment for these strains first considering these strains are affecting the most people.
There is the question of availability in the populace for treatment, however. At this time, there is a vaccine for HPV 16 & 18 given to many women before the start of college. In fact, there are many colleges that require this as part of the vaccination portfolio of student prior to starting their enrollment. However, there are still incidences of HPV infection in which women acquire cervical cancer so what is the efficacy of this vaccine? What other factors might come into play regarding vaccination efficacy?
Is there more carcinogenicity correlated in males in HPV infections as well? It’s noted as a sociological intrigue that men are less likely to seek treatment for certain conditions. If HPV presents in men more gradually, then perhaps there is a gradation of symptoms in men that could be related to genitourinary cancers or other cancers. Topographically, it would seem that GU cancers would be more likely a symptom of HPV infection if cervical cancer is a result in female cohorts, but as noted in the Peek et. al and Kamandar articles having an open mind in science is important.
Even in this article, there is a notable switch from one train thought to another regarding the impact of viruses in our health. What other choice do we have but to consider all the possibilities that may pop up? Funds are limited, so scientifically we are more inclined to focus efforts towards strong-arming an answer towards binary solutions. However, I wonder if there are cost-effective ways to lead a less focused approach, and hopefully an interdisciplinary approach toward finding answers that maybe we weren’t even looking for in the future. After all, Penicillin purportedly came about from this pure curiosity and observation. There’s no telling what we could find if we actually stop looking and just experience.