So how complete is the understanding of cervical cancer that we can create a preventive vaccine? Well cervical cancer is said to be caused by human papiloma virus though I believe a more accurate description, and to its credit Wikipedia uses the term, is that HPV is a “risk factor” for cervical cancer. Put another way it is seen in association with cervical cancer. As the cliche goes, association is not causation. It might, for example, be possible that susceptibility to infection with HPV is a marker for a genetic or environmentally induced immune system failure which would also predispose to cancer. In which case, even successful prevention of HPV infection would have zero effect on cancer prevalence. Certainly the idea of oncogenenic viruses is not a new one and is likely valid in many cases, however, that does mean there is an airtight case that HPV is an oncogenic virus. At the very least we know that the large majority of women infected with even the high risk subtypes of HPV never go on to develop cervical cancer, so certainly there is more going on then a viral infection necessary for cancer development. Additionally, the average latency period (if it is a latency period) between HPV infection and cervical cancer development is 12-15 years, keep that in mind for later. Western Medicine’s never been wrong about anything in the past 50 years though, especially related to cancer, we couldn’t possibly be wrong about cancer here, so I’d better give them that HPV is oncogenic and preventing infection eliminates cervical cancer, besides we’re a touchy bunch.
Well given that, how well understood is the virus-cancer hypothesis. That is to say are you 100% positive that the oncogenic potential of the virus is related to its DNA and not its proteins. Certainly DNA insertion has been a described oncogenic property related to some viruses but one could at least hypothesize about a viral protein perhaps interacting with histones or some other nucleic acid protein to initiate a chain of events promoting oncogenesis. I only mention this because we are giving, in the vaccine, four variations of self-assembling virus capsid protein L1. Maybe its a long shot, I mean I’m giving you that the virus definitely causes cancer in some yet to be described way, so it must of necessity be that injecting fully formed parts of the virus could never cause cancer, right? I find it rather commonsense to question whether repeatedly injecting parts of an ill-understood “oncogenic” virus would be reckless. I mean we are intending to give it to millions and millions of young women and any such effect would be expected to take 12-15 years to show up.
While I am creating potential “bogey-men” here, as we shall see there are already real ones in this area to deal with, but it is just to point out that there is nothing that should have said this sort of approach would easily get past safety regulators. That brings me to the most astonishing and disturbing thing, I’ve seen in a while on this topic, this was in a reference mentioned by Dr. Rudnick in his recent post on vaccinations and what led me to write this post, as the article notes:
“In an unprecedented “public-private partnership,” researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) patented the technology for the “virus-like particles” (VLPs) that provoke Gardasil’s immune response to the human papillomavirus (HPV) and licensed their VLP technology to Merck.”
That takes a little while to sink in, that means the government and specifically the Department of Health and Human (HHS) services gets paid whenever the vaccine is bought. Gardasil was a billion dollar vaccine in its first year. Talk about a conflict of interest, HHS (i.e CDC, FDA, NIH) is a business partner with Merck! NIH makes its millions, Merck makes their billions.
I should probably just stop here, but we aren’t even at the “this is dangerous” part, we are still only half way through the “this is a stupid idea” part.
Western medicine has had such dramatic success with cancer, a preventative vaccine must be a leap forward and we should now be able to review the decades long studies necessary to that show that Gardasil has an effect on cervical cancer rates decades down the line. Well, there are none. Again, there is zero evidence that Gardasil has an effect on cervical cancer rates, it can’t be said any plainer than that. The approval was made based off the surrogate marker (to be generous) of preventing infection with HPV. Even here, considering the business situation, things seem rather hinky. You see in the approval studies, Gardasil was said to be 100% effective at preventing HPV infection. I’ve never heard of a 100% effective vaccine, have you? Part of the reason why such an unbelievably effective vaccine would be nice to have in such a venture is that it only blocks infection from 4 of the more than 100 strains of HPV, and these strains are seen to be associated with about 70% of cervical cancer cases. So at the very best, the vaccine is only 70% effective regarding cancer if they are correct about everything else.
The efficacy of influenza vaccination is widely stated as around 80%, although a look at the medical literature provides a very good argument that the true efficacy is considerably lower than this, especially in those groups of patients who might be expected to need the protection of the vaccine. All other vaccines show a similar, less than 100% effectiveness rate. Even realizing how rapidly the potential benefit from Gardasil might diminish if other than a 100% effectiveness were the true case, vaccine effectiveness is not a constant through time. Perhaps you recall being asked by a healthcare provider, “when was your last tetanus shot?” All vaccines diminish their effectiveness through time. Given this, why is Gardasil given as a series of three injections, I mean aside from HHS wanting three times moe money? Well, obviously there is a decrease in effectiveness with time. As Gardasil is a very new therapy often given to teenagers or even prepubescents, there is zero evidence as well on what its efficacy is in preventing HPV infection 10, or even 5 years down the line. There is zero evidence on the necessary long term effectiveness of Gardasil.
Finally, other researchers have commented that the decreased utilization of more researched preventive measures (ie pap smears) could lead to a net increase in cervical cancer even if the vaccine, by some miracle, had a modest effect on cervical cancer rates.
Let me summarize, there has never been an effective preventive “cancer vaccine” before, this would be an astonishing breakthrough. There is zero clinical evidence that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer. At best, Gardasil can only have an effect on 70% of the viruses associated with the development of cervical cancer. There is zero evidence of a long term induction of immunity by Gardasil to HPV. Oh and the HHS is a business partner in the scheme.
Well, that’s it for part one, in the next part, though I don’t look forward to it, we will look at the tremendous record of harm and some of the numerous stories of tragedy that this bad idea has caused in a short period of time.
Feel free to chime in with comments.