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aussie science invents Cancer vaccine

October 9th, 2005, 04:54 PM
yay finally some good progress, those brilliant and may i say world leading australian cancer scientist, have finally come up with a vaccine for certain cancer cells and especially cervical cancer like those caused by cell changes during HPV. they will start giving it to all our 14yo girls (to get them before sexual activity) in our country in the next couple of years, finally what a relief.

im just so proud of those aussie brains they will save so many lives, its a good example to our governemnt to stop the brain drain or all our brains will go overseas. yay its about time.


The success rate has surprised and delighted Australian and overseas experts, who say the vaccine could potentially save 70 per cent of the 250,000 lives lost each year around the world to cervical cancer - especially in developing countries that lack pap-smear screening programs.

Australia has about 700 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed every year, and about 270 deaths from the disease.

The Phase III trial - the last step before a licensing application - involved 12,000 women in 13 countries.

It found the vaccine prevented all high-grade cervical pre-cancers and non-invasive cervical cancers associated with HPV types 16 and 18.

Already CSL is looking at a financial bonanza from the vaccine, to be called Gardasil, which is thought likely to generate worldwide sales of between $US1billion ($1.3 billion) and $US4billion.

Another winner will be Professor Frazer, whose invention made the vaccine possible, with some peers suggesting he could be in line for a Nobel Prize.

Fourteen years ago, Professor Frazer and his team used genetic engineering to unlock the secret of how to produce in sufficient quantities fragments of the HPV virus.

The dead fragments, called "virus-like particles", are put into the vaccine and trick the immune system into thinking the virus itself is present. The body responds by making antibodies that then protect the patient if the real virus later appears.

Gerry Wain, a cervical cancer specialist at Sydney's Westmead Hospital and director of the NSW Cervical Screening Program, who was not involved in the vaccine's development, said the results were "amazing" and had exceeded all expectations.

"You are looking at saving millions of women's lives - if that doesn't deserve a Nobel prize, what does?" he said.

Gardasil is designed to be given in three doses over six months, which data suggests will provide immunity for at least 10 years.

Most women who develop cervical cancer acquire the HPV virus in the first 10 years after they become sexually active. However, a booster shot to extend immunity beyond the initial 10 years may later be recommended.

The vaccine is designed to be given before women become sexually active, but it could still bring benefits for older women.

Even men could benefit, as it protects against two other types of HPV responsible for genital warts.

Professor Frazer told The Weekend Australian from New York yesterday he was "obviously delighted and surprised by the 100 per cent effectiveness".

"With most vaccines, you think you're doing a pretty good job if the vaccine turns out to be 90 per cent effective," he said.

"It's great for Australian science that something that we've developed here is going to have a global impact in the way that this vaccine should have."

He said the vaccine would have the biggest impact in developing countries that did not have pap-smear screening programs.

"In countries like Australia, where we have a very good pap-smear program, the good news for women is not so much that they will be able to stop doing the pap smears - because they won't - but rather that they are very much less likely to have an abnormal pap smear which will need something done about it."

October 9th, 2005, 08:13 PM
Weird! We had the same breakthrough over here by Merck Frosst... :confused: Oh well, doesn't matter as long as we win right?

October 10th, 2005, 04:31 PM
no it was invented in australia by aussies and then the trials were conducted in america, that is were the confusion is.

nope its all aussie, they just cant run those sort of trials in this country, its not done here so we do our testing on americans mainly... :D ..

its exciting, we have the lead researchers in australia into cancer and its amazing how they are going, this will be so good for third worlds its amazing and they are just moving in leaps and bounds, its so wonderful to think this will help so many girls..

positive story of my week i must say.......yay for smart ppl helping society :D

October 10th, 2005, 04:36 PM
It's been a big week for you Ausies! Nobel Prize for Stomach ulcers on monday, to cancer vaccines on friday! This all makes me so happy! :thumbs up