NewYork-Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine are among the nation's top cancer centers calling for increased human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for the prevention of cancer. The statement comes in response to the public health threat posed by low national vaccination rates for HPV. The centers are urging physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this opportunity to prevent many types of cancer.
"We are proud to be among the nation's most prestigious cancer centers in calling to eliminate HPV-related cancer," says Dr. Stephen Emerson, director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and the Clyde Wu Professor of Immunology and Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. "Vaccination against HPV is an opportunity to stop many cancers before they even develop, and has the potential to save countless lives in New York City and across the country."
"Vaccination is a highly effective weapon in the fight against cancer," says Dr. Lewis Cantley, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. "While we are constantly developing new therapies for cancer patients, vaccination can help reduce the number of cases we ever have to treat."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the United States. Vaccines are available that can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers.
"This initiative is directly aligned with the desire of the President, Vice President and all Americans to work constructively together to eradicate cancer," says Dr. Ernest Hawk, vice president and division head, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "This is one example of actions that can be taken today to make a very big difference in the future cancer burden."
Vaccination rates remain low across the United States, with less than 40 percent of girls and just over 21 percent of boys receiving the recommended three doses. Research shows there are a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that the vaccine protects against several types of cancer.
To discuss strategies for overcoming these barriers, experts from the NCI, CDC, American Cancer Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers met in a summit at MD Anderson Cancer Center last November. During this summit, cancer centers shared findings from 18 NCI-funded environmental scans, or detailed regional assessments, which sought to identify barriers to increasing immunization rates in pediatric settings across the country.
The published call to action is a major recommendation resulting from discussions at that summit, with the goal of sending a powerful message to parents, adolescents and health care providers about the importance of HPV vaccination for cancer prevention.
NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation's most comprehensive healthcare delivery networks, focused on providing innovative and compassionate care to patients in the New York metropolitan area and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical school partners, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and clinical innovation.
NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the magazine's Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation; NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network is comprised of leading hospitals in and around New York and delivers high-quality care to patients throughout the region; NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services connects medical experts with patients in their communities; and NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health features the hospital's ambulatory care network sites and operations, community care initiatives and healthcare quality programs, including NewYork Quality Care, established by NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell and Columbia.
NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. Each year, nearly 29,000 NewYork-Presbyterian professionals deliver exceptional care to more than 2 million patients.
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Columbia University Medical Center
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.
Weill Cornell Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. The doctors and scientists of Weill Cornell Medicine--faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization--are engaged in world-class clinical care and cutting-edge research that connect patients to the latest treatment innovations and prevention strategies. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side's scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine's powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where an international campus offers a U.S. medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.
Lucky Tran, PhD