Human Papilloma Virus: The First Cancer Vaccine

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It was inevitable. In the post 9/11 marketing frenzy questing for more and more bugs and diseases to make vaccines against, what could be a more promising candidate than the second highest cause of death in the US?

Cancer of the cervix now affects some 13,000 American women, 4,000 of whom die. [1] Most deaths are in the worst living environments in the US, among the most immune-suppressed groups. But like with all cancers, the cause of this one remains unknown.

Cervical cancer has been declining dramatically in the United States, from nearly 15 cases for every 100,000 women in 1975 to nearly 7 per 100,000 in 2008. [12] Nothing to do with vaccines.

In the 1970s, herpes simplex virus was proposed as a possible cause, but that hypothesis was soon abandoned after epidemiological studies proved inconclusive. In the 1980s the next candidate suggested as the missing link was human papilloma virus. [2]

Before we continue, a word about epidemiological studies. Epidemiological studies, also called population studies, are the poor cousin of true clinical trials. They are not controlled studies done under set scientific conditions, but rather attempts at verifying a hypothesis just by counting the incidence of a certain disease or condition within a certain population. The problem is that results from epidemiological studies are subject to widespread interpretation, depending on who’s doing the counting, who decides the criteria for what gets counted, who publishes the results, etc. For this reason, epidemiological studies can be used to “prove” two completely divergent hypotheses.

In the exploding vaccine industry today, epidemiological studies are quickly becoming the standard to validate our need for more vaccines, because they’re faster, cheaper, and capable of supporting practically any required outcome.

So, once herpes was ruled impossible, the new population studies then proposed human papilloma virus as a cause of cervical cancer. The first problem is that there are over 100 strains of HPV, only 30 of which are even theoretically linked with cervical cancer. [344] In addition, HPV is present in at least half the normal population, [3] almost never causing any disease or problems whatsoever. Indeed, HPV has never been proven as a pathogen for any disease.

HPV AND CANCER

Now in any cancer, we’re talking about a normal cell that mutated and then began to make copies of itself, unchecked.

The creators of the HPV/ cancer myth are pretending that the HPV came along and attacked some normal cells and mutated those cells and caused them to begin replicating themselves out of control – cancer. And that this is happening on a mass scale even though we just discovered it. And worse, that a vaccine can neutralize that type of attack on normal cervix cells.

Scientifically, what they’re proposing is ludicrous.

Few scientists have a better grasp of the proposed virus/cancer model than Berkeley’s Peter Duesberg PhD. In his scholarly paper tracing the history of the HPV/ cervical cancer story, Duesberg explains why HPV is such an unlikely cause of any cancer:

“no set of viral genes is consistently present or expressed in human cervical cancers. [345] … HPV does not replicate in the cancer cells.”

So if the mutated cervical cancer cells are not mutating because of abnormal viral genes being spliced into a normal cell, how else could HPV be causing this cancer? Duesberg again:

“the “hit-and-run” mechanism of viral carcinogenesis was proposed. It holds that neither the complete [virus], nor even a part of it, needs to be present in the tumor. Obviously, this is an unfalsifiable, but also an unprovable, hypothesis.”

[345]

All that has ever been shown is that HPV is sometimes present in cervical cancer tissue, but as we know it’s also present in half the normal population.

There is a total lack of evidence that cervical cancer appears in women with HPV more often than in women without it. [3] And yet this will be the focus of the vaccine: to pretend to eliminate this ubiquitous virus from the body.

THE NEW HPV VACCINE

The original phrase used by Merck to link HPV with cervical cancer was “there is a strong connection.” ([2] p 1964)

How that phrase got transformed to ‘is the cause of’ in the past two years is more a matter of marketing than of science.

The HPV vaccine had been in the Merck pipeline for years, finally getting FDA approval in 2006. [4] Merck’s HPV vaccine is called Gardasil. It has no competition.

What’s in it? According to Merck’s own data, the vaccine is made from “virus-like particles” from four strains of HPV: Types 5, 11, 16, and 18. ([1] p 1984.) With no clinical studies proving it, Type 16 and 18 are now cited by Merck in the Physicians Desk Reference as the cause of “over 70%” of cervical cancer cases.

The theory is that these virus-like particles will trigger the body to make antibodies that will be able to prevent the full-on natural strains of HPV from getting a foothold. For five years, anyway. That’s what Merck is claiming.

The Merck insert for Gardasil makes this unproven flat statement: “HPV causes squamous cell cervical cancer.”

We’ve already learned above that such is not the case.

The market that Merck decided on was 12 year old girls, the thinking being that since HPV is sexually transmissible, might as well get it at the start.

Now before we get too ebullient about this newest fad, let’s consider objectively what we’re being sold here.

EXTRAVAGANT DEMANDS ON CREDIBILITY

With other vaccines for viral diseases, such as MMR, hepatitis B, and polio, what has never made sense scientifically is that the vaccines do not contain the original wild virus that occurs in nature and supposedly causes the disease. Instead the vaccine contains a manmade mutation of the natural virus that is then claimed to be able to confer immunity by triggering the body to produce antibodies to the original disease. So that was bad enough. But what they’re asking us to believe about HPV is going too far.

All physiology and immunology textbooks describe the triggering of immunoglobulin production as an extremely specific sequence, resulting in extremely specific antibodies. [167] They don’t talk about cousins of viruses or particles from viruses able to trigger the precise antibodies to the virus itself. Such a claim is brand new. How could any real immunity come from vaccines like these, even if the viruses were the causative agents of disease?

The second enormous impediment to credibility is that the average age for cervical cancer is 50 years. ( Merck Manual p 1964 [260]) But the plan is to mandate Gardasil to 12 years olds. And the manufacturer is only claiming efficacy for 5 years. So using their own statistics, this makes the vaccine worthless in the long run, because by the time most females need immunity, it will have worn off long ago.

A risk factor in cervical cancer that has been clearly established is the lifetime number of sexual partners: the more partners, the more likely the disease. ([260] p 1964) So who has more, 12 year olds or 50 year olds? Even if the vaccine worked, statistically it should be given to women in their mid 40s. Why don’t they do that? Here’s the reason:

The vaccine’s “safety and efficacy not been evaluated over 26” years of age. ([1] p 1987)

Oh, OK. Well, guess we better give it to the young girls then…

Are there any side effects of this new vaccine? Here are some of those cited by the manufacturer:

* fever
* nausea
* pharyngitis
* dizziness
* NVD
* upper respiratory infection
* gastroenteritis
* appendicitis
* PID
* bronchospasm

Physicians Desk Reference [1] p 1987

Other side effects discovered later include loss of consciousness, loss of vision and seizures. [3]

There’s a bargain – real side effects in return for unreal immunity.

CARCINOGENICITY

Can the vaccine itself cause cancer? That’s a fair question – we’re talking about a vaccine that they’re claiming prevents cancer by imitating a pathogen that itself causes cancer, right? So wouldn’t we want to be fairly secure that this vaccine wouldn’t cause cancer? Here’s what the manufacturer states:

Gardasil … “… not been evaluated for carcinogenicity or

impairment of fertility.” ([1] p1986 )

Wonderful. They want to vaccinate all American 12 year olds with a vaccine for cancer and they don’t even know for sure whether or not it causes cancer, or makes the recipients infertile. Yeah, sign my kid up for that one.

Curiously, the HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnancy because of its effects on the fetus [1], but menarche is no problem…?

THE TEXAS TWO-STEP

The HPV controversy sank to new levels with the Feb 2007 decision by Texas Governor Rick Perry to “require” the HPV vaccine for all 12 year old girls in Texas. [2] In an unprecedented unilateral move, with no input from either the state legislature or the Texas Medical Board, with no scientific credentials, Perry brashly made this sweeping invasion into the privileged area of parental authority, and then lamely tried to defend his position. Ignoring the utter lack of science behind the vaccine, with complete disregard for vaccine exemption laws that are found in every state, and acting entirely outside the scope of gubernatorial jurisdiction, Perry plays king.

THE LOVE OF MONEY

Perry must have had the inside track; the vaccine was quietly added to the Mandated Schedule just after Perry’s edict. That brought the number of vaccines for American schoolkids to an unprecedented 68.

Even so, such unilateral imprudence and reckless disregard for the normal operation of state government in a public official rings the Follow the Money bell.

Gardasil is a 3 shot series at $360. [2] Perry’s financial ties to Merck are a matter of public record. [2]

East Coasters might think, well what can you expect from Texas… But 17 other states prepared to follow suit and initiate similar mandates, even before it was added to the Schedule. [3]

Projected profits from future HPV vaccine sales?

“The vaccine is expected to reach $1 billion in sales next year, … could make Gardasil …within five years, sales of more than $4 billion, according to Wall Street analysts.” [4]

FINAL QUESTION

Again, the whole story of HPV vaccine is much more twisted than we’re representing here. The reader is invited to follow up on the above cited sources. Never before has such a calculated, systematic misrepresentation of fact been attempted in which data is so obviously manipulated, issues so deliberately obscured, and financial interests so obsequiously served.

Reflecting on the section above, with the uncertainty about the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccine, the certainty of the side effects, the prodigious economic upside to global dissemination irrespective of its scientific merits, the absence of long-term studies, and the ludicrous “religious /ethical” media controversy smokescreen designed to distract us from the underlying scientific issues, is this really a vaccine you want to try out on your little girl?

1. Medical Economics Physicians Desk Reference 2007
Gardasil

2. The Merck Manual 18th ed. Merck

3. Latent Viruses and Mutated Oncogenes: No Evidence for Pathogenicity
Peter H. Duesberg and Jody R. Schwartz

12. AssociatedPress
Annual Cancer Screening Tests Urged Less and Less October 19, 2011
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