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Investing In Vaccine Development Key To Preventing Cancer Caused By Infectious Disease Agents

Devex: Opinion: Preventing cancer the easy way
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…At least one in 10 cancers can be prevented using one of the most widely available medical interventions — vaccines. This is possible because a large number of cancer cases are not caused by risk factors we traditionally associate with noncommunicable diseases — such as obesity, tobacco use, or alcohol consumption — but can be triggered by infectious agents. … The good news is that more than 90 percent of these cancers are caused by just four pathogens, and we already have safe and highly effective vaccines for two of them: Hepatitis B virus and human papillomavirus, or HPV. … With 1.4 million cancer cases in developing countries every year caused by infections, further investment is crucial to ensure that vaccines against other cancer-causing infectious pathogens are developed and brought to market. The far-reaching impact on people, communities, and economies in the world’s poorest countries would see this investment returned countless times over” (8/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.