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June 29, 2006

U-M experts weigh-in on HPV vaccine recommendations

ANN ARBOR, MI – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices recommended to give Gardasil – a vaccine designed to provide protection against human papillomavirus, or HPV, the virus linked to cervical cancer – as a routine vaccination to girls ages 11 and 12, and as a catch-up vaccine for women ages 13 to 26. The group also said that girls as young as 9 could receive the vaccine, at the discretions of  their health care providers.

University of Michigan Health System experts – including one who is the chair of the ACIP’s HPV Working Group – are available to discuss these recommendations and recent research about HPV vaccines, as well as provide information about cervical cancer, HPV and childhood immunizations. To speak with one of these experts call (734) 764 2220.

ACIP vaccine recommendations: U-M expert in Atlanta
Janet Gilsdorf, MDJanet Gilsdorf, M.D., Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and chair of the HPV Working Group for the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  

As a voting member of the ACIP, Gilsdorf helped to draft the age and gender recommendations for use of Gardasil.  From today’s meeting in Atlanta, Gilsdorf can discuss how and why the ACIP made certain recommendations for use of Gardasil, and her role as chair of the HPV Working Group.

Gilsdorf, professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases and professor of epidemiology, also is co-director for the Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases at the U-M School of Public Health. Her research interests include vaccine development.

U-M study: Will parents accept new HPV vaccines for kids?
Amanda Dempsy, MDAmanda F. Dempsey, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, lecturer in the Division of General Pediatrics at the U-M Medical School and a member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit in the Division of General Pediatrics at Mott.

In a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, Dempsey found that providing parents with general information about HPV and HPV vaccines is not enough to influence their decision to vaccinate their young children against HPV. The study revealed parental beliefs about the benefits of HPV vaccinations are instead driven by their feelings about vaccinations; the opinions of their peers and doctors; and their personal experiences with sexually transmitted diseases or HPV-related illnesses.

Experts: HPV and Cervical Cancer
Anthony OpipariAnthony Opipari, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Opipari sees patients with abnormal Pap smears and diseases of the cervix, vagina and vulva related to HPV infection. His research interests are in HPV detection methods.

Mack Ruffin, MDMack Ruffin, M.D., M.P.H., professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Ruffin’s focus is primary care, including cancer prevention and screening. His research expertise includes HPV and its link to cervical cancer. As a family doctor, Ruffin sees patients who fall under the CDC recommendations to receive Gardasil.

Expert: Childhood immunizations
Gary Freed, MDGary L. Freed, M.D., MPH, Percy and Mary Murphy Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health Delivery, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics, and director of the CHEAR Unit at the U-M Health System.

Freed serves as the chair for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee, which advises the HHS secretary on issues of vaccine policy affecting adults and children in the U.S.

With more than 15 years of experience in children's health services research, Freed is an expert in pediatric preventive care and immunizations. Freed’s published research has explored such topics as vaccine safety concerns among parents, child health policy, immunization policy, and vaccine financing.  

Online resources:
UMHS Health Topics A-Z: HPV

U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center: Cervical Cancer

UMHS Health Topics A-Z: Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Cancer

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Gardasil approval announcement

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

For more information about cervical cancer, call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine nurses at 1-800-865-1125.

Written by Krista Hopson

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