The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Joins Nation’s Cancer Centers in Endorsement of HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention

New York, NY
 – January 27, 2016 /Press Release/  –– 

National vaccination rates need to be increased for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes several types of cancer, The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and 69 of the nation’s top cancer centers urged today in a joint statement. These institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nations’ physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer.

“Mount Sinai and other institutions have made great leaps in the development of vaccinations for HPV and other cancers,” said Steven Burakoff, MD, Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professor of Cancer Medicine and Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai. “Vaccination is an important defense against HPV which cause many types of cancer. It is imperative that the public join us in this effort and speak to your physician about vaccination.”

National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers joined in this effort in the spirit of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union call for a national “moonshot” to cure cancer, a collaborative effort led by Vice President Joe Biden.

“This initiative is directly aligned with the desire of the President, Vice President and all Americans to work constructively together to eradicate cancer,” says Ernest Hawk, M.D., 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.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. Several vaccines are available that can prevent the majority of anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat), and cervical and other genital cancers.

Vaccination rates remain low across the U.S., with under 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 a lack of understanding among parents that this 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 was 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.

About the Tisch Cancer Institute

The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) is a world-class translational cancer institute established in December 2007. TCI has recruited more than 30 acclaimed physicians and researchers specializing in basic research, clinical research, and population science; built outstanding programs in solid tumor oncology; enhanced existing robust programs in hematological malignancies; and advanced the study of cancer immunology and vaccine therapy. The completion of the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine in 2012 enabled the recruitment of 25 additional cancer researchers on two full research floors, with 48,000 square feet of space dedicated to cancer research. In 2015, TCI was named a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. TCI joined an elite group of 69 cancer institutions nationwide that have earned this designation, which is based on scientific excellence, robust clinical research, and beneficial community impact. To learn more about clinical trials at Mount Sinai, visit http://icahn.mssm.edu/research/clinical-trials.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services — from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals in Geriatrics, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, and Gastroenterology, and is in the top 25 in five other specialties in the 2015-2016 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel is ranked regionally.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinaihealth.org/ or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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