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Against papillomavirus with CSC’s resources

HPV vaccines provide protection against cervical cancer in particular, but are also effective against HPV-related cancers in other parts of the genital area and the mouth and throat. According to Ville Pimenoff, associate professor in evolutionary medicine at the University of Oulu, the immune protection including herd immunity provided by the HPV vaccine is an effective way to protect the population from HPV-related cancers, especially when both girls and boys are vaccinated. In addition, adequate vaccination of the whole population changes the ecological dynamics of the remaining papillomaviruses.

“This leads to the conclusion that in the near future, cervical cancer screening for oncogenic HPV infections should be eased or completely stopped for those who have been vaccinated.”

Pimenoff’s study of genetic variation in viruses and other microbes in general requires a large amount of CSC’s computation and data processing.

In studying cancer-causing papillomaviruses at population scale, Pimenoff used a large cervical HPV infections cohort data collected from 33 Finnish cities and towns, where a total of 22,000 young individuals were monitored for 16 years since most of them had received the HPV vaccine. The research dataset is the world’s largest community randomized vaccination cohort, providing an excellent setup to examine the evolutionary dynamics of cancer-causing papillomaviruses in the population that has been HPV vaccinated using different vaccination strategies and compared to the non-vaccinated fraction of the population.

“From this cohort data, I used computer-assisted methods to simulate HPV infections prevalence dataset among half a million young Finnish women. I used the computing power of CSC and the sensitive data virtual cloud for the original data derived simulations, and for editing and reviewing the resulting synthetic and original data.”

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