Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates



New HPV Vaccine Results

A study released April 21, 2015 by the American Association for Cancer Research found that the HPV vaccine can protect against infection across multiple site on the body, even in women who have been infected in the past.

4186 women between the ages of 18 and 25 were vaccinated with either the HPV 16/18 vaccine or a control Heptatitis A vaccine.  The randomized controlled trial sought to determine if the HPV vaccine could protect women against oral, anal, and cervical HPV.

According to an April 21st Tmes article by Alexendra Stifferlin, “efficacy for the vaccine in all three sites was 83% among the women with no evidence of prior HPV exposure and infection, 58% among women with prior HPV exposure, and a 25% among women with active cervical HPV16/18 infection (the percentage was considered nonsignificant).”

Overall, the efficacy of the vaccine in all three sites was 65%, and 91% for two sites.  These results support the CDC’s recommendation for women up to age 26, and men up to age 21 to get the vaccine if they did not receive it at a younger age.



A Cheaper Genetic Breast Cancer Test

The New York Times is reporting that a Silicon Valley startup is currently developing a new saliva test to screen women for breast cancer.  Color Genomic’s test can be completed for about one tenth of the cost of other available genetic screenings, coming in at $249.  The test analyzes 19 different genes, including BRCA 1 and BRCA2, the two primary genes were breast cancer mutations can occur.

According to Elad Gil, chief executive of Color Genomics, by developing this low cost test, it allows women to be able to pay out of pocket for the test if it is not covered by their insurance.  Skeptics argue that analysis, interpretation and patient counseling are important factors in the testing that won’t be covered in the $249.


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