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Serum Institute of India to launch vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    22nd Jul, 2022

Context

Serum Institute of India plans to launch its indigenously-developed vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in women.

About

  • The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) recently granted market authorisation to Serum Institute of India (SII) to manufacture the indigenously-developed India's first Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against cervical cancer.

Cervical Cancer:

  • Cervical cancer develops in a woman's cervix (the entrance to the uterus from the vagina).
  • Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.
  • Although most infections with HPV resolve spontaneously and cause no symptoms, persistent infection can cause cervical cancer in women.
  • When diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.
  • Cervical cancer in India ranks as the second most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.

Symptoms

Early-stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms. Signs and symptoms of more-advanced cervical cancer include:

  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause
  • Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor
  • Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse

Causes

  • Cervical cancer begins when healthy cells in the cervix develop changes (mutations) in their DNA.
    • A cell's DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do.
  • Healthy cells grow and multiply at a set rate, eventually dying at a set time.
    • The mutations tell the cells to grow and multiply out of control, and they don't die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor).
    • Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can break off from a tumor to spread (metastasize) elsewhere in the body.
  • It isn't clear what causes cervical cancer, but it's certain that HPV plays a role. 
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