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Hilary's Desk

Mercky Maths

Hilary Butler - Sunday, April 05, 2009

We are told that Gardasil will result in a 70% reduction of cervical cancer smears, because HPV 16 and 18 make up 70% of all abnormal smears. Right? Bollocks! Where is the proof? I’ve spent the day looking everywhere for the as usual unreferenced study detailed at IMAC (scroll down quite a way) which apparently, is the only study which has been done on oncogenic HPV smears in this country. It’s pathetically small, but it appears to be all New Zealand has. Remember, that IMAC is the site of the very people who PROMISE that Gardasil will do this cervical cancer miracle 70% reduction.

Here is what IMAC’s website says:  (pdf of IMAC's page.  See page 3, third dot down.)

Auckland study of 513 cervical swabs, mainly from women attending colposcopy clinics, found that 221 specimens (43 percent) were positive for HPV. Twenty-two different types of HPV were detected, and 141 were oncogenic types, representing 14 of the 18 known oncogenic types. Types 16, 18, and 31 were the most common detected, representing 39 percent, 10 and 10 percent of the oncogenic types found, respectively. The other 11 oncogenic HPV types ranged in prevalence from 7.4 to 0.6 percent.

Now you do the maths.

Total of 513 swabs from people who were referred to colposcopy because of abnormal pap smears. Right?

221 of 513 swabs... (43%) ...were positive for HPV. Right?

Of 513 swabs only 141 (27.3% ) showed HPV oncogenic types.

Of the 141 oncogenic HPV swabs, 55 (39%) were type 16.

Of the 141 oncogenic HPV swabs 14 (10%) were Type 18.

55+14 = 69.

So out of 513 abnormal smears, only 69 ... or  13.5% had HPV types 16 and 18 in Gardasil. Right?

13.5% is the percentage of how many people, in that “cohort” on IMAC’s website, would have theoretically have “benefited” from Gardasil.

Let’s look at the HPV types in the other 72 (52%) people of the 141 oncogenic smears.

14, (10%) were type 31. The other 58 people had 11 other oncogenic types not in Gardasil, and ranged in prevalence from 7.4 to 0.6

If …only 13.5% of people of the Auckland sample would theoretically have benefited from Gardasil, how then does this equate to the stated Gardasil benefit of 70% reduction in all abnormal smears?

In answer to questions asked about HPV virus testing, IMAC says that HPV testing isn’t being done in New Zealand, because it’s too expensive.

How convenient. Yet the very study detailed on IMAC’s site, contradicts everything that is said on pamphlets, and out of IMAC's mouths.

This "70%" protection figure seems very mercky maths to me.

It’s not the first time it’s hard to understand how vaccine pushers and shovers come up with their arguments.

Perhaps there is a glimmer of light though. Perhaps some 2006 Mercky maths might help us out!

In the studies presented to the FDA for Gardasil licensure, just about at the end, pn page 368 (by which time most people are totally exhausted and cross eyed...), Table 285 shows what I consider are interesting "actual" outcomes. Look at it for yourself:  14.9% reduction in colposcopies; 17.2% reduction in biopsies; 28.2% reduction in loop electro-excision procedures. 

Sure, that wasn't done in New Zealand. 

But it is certain more in line with New Zealand data, and just about in line with a 2007 New England Medical Journal article stating 20% reduction in real terms.

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