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Lives could be saved with universal hepatitis B Vaccine (HBV)

A new report published today (9 May 2012) in the Lancet Oncology Review estimates that one in six cancers are caused by largely treatable or preventable infections.

Vaccines are available to protect against hepatitis B, an established cause of liver cancer, yet the UK is one of the few countries not following the WHO directive to introduce a universal vaccination programme.

Catherine Arkley, chief executive at CLDF, said: “In Taiwan the cases of liver cancer dropped following the implementation of an infant vaccination programme for HBV. There is an effective vaccine against HBV used throughout the world yet the UK is not moving to alter our policy, which is incomprehensible, particularly as we have an effective infant vaccination programme in place and including the HBV vaccination within it would be relatively easy.”