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HPV Cancer Prevention Program


The St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program aims to reduce human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancer deaths locally and nationally by increasing HPV vaccination rates.

Human papillomavirus is a common virus that has been identified as the primary cause of cervical cancers and five other types of cancer: anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile and oropharyngeal. Despite nearly 15 years of research demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccine, U.S. vaccination rates remain significantly lower for HPV than for other recommended adolescent vaccines. As a result, increasing HPV vaccination for children and adolescents has the potential to prevent cancers in adulthood and save thousands of lives.

About the St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program

The HPV Cancer Prevention Program is focused on:

Meet the Team

The program is led by director Heather M. Brandt, PhD, a social and behavioral scientist and leader in cancer prevention and control, primarily in HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening. Her research focuses on working with stakeholders to prevent and control cancer by using evidence-based interventions through innovative, partnered approaches. She is also a member of the Department of Epidemiology & Cancer Control.


Why St. Jude?

In June 2018, the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center, with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers, endorsed the American Cancer Society’s goal of eliminating HPV-related cancers through vaccination and screening. This goal is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 objective.

As the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated solely to children, St. Jude has an important role and responsibility in increasing the number of children who benefit from the HPV vaccine and reducing their risk of preventable cancers later in life. Moreover, St. Jude is located in Memphis with affiliate locations in the Mid-South region and southeastern U.S., an area with low HPV vaccination rates and a high HPV-associated cancer burden.

“As the only cancer center solely dedicated to children, we have a responsibility to lead the efforts to increase the vaccination rate in children, everywhere, so that we can prevent them from developing HPV-related cancers later in life,” said Charles Roberts, MD, PhD, director of the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center and executive vice president at St. Jude. "HPV vaccination can have major impact on public health, as we could eliminate most cancers caused by HPV—but people have to get vaccinated.”


Education and Training Resources



Seminar: Capitalizing on Opportunities to Prevent HPV Cancers


More Information