Markman Talks Vilified Vaccines, Taboos, and Treatment for Cervical Cancer

OncLive Staff

Dr. Markman discusses the clinical milestone of the HPV vaccine as a means to prevent cervical cancer, the debate on HPV-negative disease, and what efforts can be done on a global scale to reduce the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer.

Welcome to a special edition of OncLive On AirTM. I'm your host today, Gina Mauro.

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Today, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Maurie Markman, MD, physician and president of Medicine and Science at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and the editor-in-chief of our flagship publication, OncologyLive, to discuss the current scope and global burden of cervical cancer.

In 2020, there was an estimated 13,800 cases of cervical cancer that were expected to be diagnosed in the United States. Of those, 4,290 deaths would have likely occurred.

However, some numbers have turned a corner. Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates have dropped significantly, in part due to screening via the Pap test, which has allowed for early cancer detection.

Nearly all cervical cancers are driven by HPV and HPV vaccination is recommended in all boys and girls by the age of 13 years. According to the American Cancer Society, HPV vaccines do not protect against all HPV types, emphasizing the importance of adherence to cervical cancer screening guidelines.

The 5-year relative overall survival rate for cervical cancer in the United States is 66%, but these rate differ for African American women who are aged 50 years old and white women who are younger than 50 years. For those who have localized disease, the 5-year overall survival rate is 92%.

Another area of cervical cancer that is less discussed, but has been documented, is HPV-negative disease. However, Dr. Markman said that the issue surrounding HPV-negative cancer is that HPV is likely always present, but may simply not be found through testing.

In our exclusive interview, Dr. Markman discusses the clinical milestone of the HPV vaccine as a means to prevent cervical cancer, the debate on HPV-negative disease, and what efforts can be done on a global scale to reduce the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer.