Papillomavirus and cervical cancer in Chile

Miguel O'Ryan G, María Teresa Valenzuela

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

2 Scopus citations


Molecular, clinical and epidemiological studies have established beyond doubt that human papiloma viruses (HPV) cause cervical cancer. The virus is also associated with genital warts and other less common cancers in oropharynx, vulva, vagina and penis. Worldwide, VPH genotypes 16 and 18 are the most common high risk genotypes, detected in near 70% of women with cervical cancer. The discovery of a cause-effect relationship between several carcinogenic microorganisms and cancer open avenues for new diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies. In this issue of Revista Médica de Chile, two papers on HPV are presented. Guzman and colleagues demonstrate that HPV can be detected in 66% to 77% of healthy male adolescents by polymerase chain reaction and that positivity depends on the site of the penis that is sampled. These results support the role of male to female transmission of high risk HPVs in Chile and should lead to even more active educational campaigns. The second paper provides recommendations for HPV vaccine use in Chile, generated by the Immunization Advisory Committee of the Chilean Infectious Disease Society. To issue these recommendations, the Committee analyzes the epidemiological information available on HPV infection and cervical cancer in Chile, vaccine safety and effectiveness data, and describes cost-effectiveness studies. Taking into account that universal vaccination is controversial, the Committee favors vaccine use in Chile and it's incorporation into a national program. However, there is an indication that the country requires the implementation of an integrated surveillance approach including cross matching of data obtained from HPV genotype surveillance, monitoring of vaccination coverage, and surveillance of cervical cancer. The final decision of universal vaccine use in Chile should be based on a through analysis of information (Rev Méd Chile 2008; 136: 1367-70).
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1367-1370
Number of pages4
JournalRevista Medica de Chile
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Human papilloma virus
  • Oncogenic viruses
  • Uterine cervical neoplasms


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