Present challenges in cervical cancer prevention: Answers from cost-effectiveness analyses

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother. Nov-Dec 2018;23(6):484-494. doi: 10.1016/j.rpor.2018.04.006. Epub 2018 Apr 26.


Simulation models are commonly used to address important health policy issues that cannot be explored through experimental studies. These models are especially useful to determine a set of strategies that result in a good value for money (cost-effectiveness). Several mathematical models simulating the natural history of HPV and related diseases, especially cervical cancer, have been developed to calculate a relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening interventions. Virtually all cost-effectiveness analyses identify HPV vaccination programmes for preadolescent girls to be cost-effective, even for relatively low vaccination coverage rates. Routine vaccination of preadolescent girls is the primary target population for HPV vaccination as it shows to provide the greatest health impact. Cost-effectiveness analyses assessing other vaccine target groups are less conclusive. Adding additional age-cohorts would accelerate health benefits in some years, although cost-effectiveness becomes less favourable as age at vaccination increases. Including men in HPV vaccination programmes may be a less efficient strategy if done at the expense of female vaccination coverage for reducing the burden of HPV in the population. However, as the HPV vaccine price decreases, the cost-effectiveness of universal vaccination improves, becoming equally as efficient as female-only vaccination. Vaccine price is a decisive factor in the cost-effectiveness analyses. The lower the price, the greater the likelihood that vaccination groups other than the primary target would be considered cost-effective.

Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Gender-neutral; HPV vaccination; HPV-related diseases.

Publication types

  • Review