GlaxoSmithKline Influences Experts To Boost HPV Vaccine Sales

A few days ago, the Daily Express ran an article which stated that cancer expert Professor Peter Sasieni recommended phasing out smear tests in favour of HPV testing. The opening statement in Victoria Fletcher’s article ‘New Cancer Check To Phase Out Smear Tests’ (…)read :

SMEAR tests for cervical cancer should be phased out for all women, a top expert said.”

According to the Express Professor Sasieni, a scientist at Queen Mary, University of London, recommended smear tests should be phased out as soon as possible saying:

Smear tests should be phased out starting as soon as possible with this being completed in five years. What further research are we waiting for? It is clear there are a number of HPV tests which are as good as cytology (smear tests) and in the long run are better.”

Professor Sasieni feels women should have HPV testing only to detect if the HPV virus is present. He believes HPV testing and vaccination should be adequate for the prevention of cervical cancer.

I spoke to two further experts who say that the HPV test plus a smear test is necessary. One of the experts I spoke to told me that Professor Sasieni is wrong in stating that we do not need more evidence.

Why would Professor Sasieni blatantly risk the lives of young women? Maybe because the mainstream media’s “top expert” is not all he appears. I have been told on good authority that he is a Ph.D. and not a medical doctor. If this is true who is he and what is role? Sasieni’s bio at Cancer Research UK (…) says:

Professor Peter Sasieni is a respected researcher in the field of cancer screening. Based at the Wolfson Institute in London, he is helping to ensure that existing NHS cervical screening programme runs as efficiently as possible. He is also working to improve bowel screening for people at high risk of the disease. And he is director of a new clinical trials unit specialising in cancer screening and prevention.”

In my book, ‘helping to ensure that the NHS cervical cancer screening programme runs efficiently’ means only one thing: doing it as cheaply as possible.

Diane Harper M.D., professor of gynecology at Dartmouth Medical School and lead researcher in the development of the humanpapilloma virus vaccine said:

There is no data that show that an every 10 year HPV test is sensitive and specific enough to detect cervical precancers.”

She continued,

The data is clear that Pap screening has done a much better job than the vaccines can do to prevent as many cervical cancers as they have, and that the vaccines will just be a way to reduce abnormal Pap tests that save money by not having the women undergo colposcopy (examination with a coloscope after abnormal smear test).

Screening is bound to change, but the data indicate HPV testing with cytology triage at a 3-5 year interval is what we should be moving to for patient safety.”

Kenneth P Stoller M.D., whose credentials include, President of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics, a Diplomat of the American Board of Hyperbaric Medicine, a Fellow of the American College for Hyperbaric Medicine, and a member of the New Mexico Medical Society, agreed:

As of this moment: Pap smear screening is still recommended for those who have been vaccinated against HPV, since the vaccines do not cover all of the HPV types that can cause cervical cancer. Also, the vaccine does not protect against HPV exposure before vaccination.

The HPV test checks for the genetic material (DNA) of the human papillomavirus. Like a Pap test, an HPV test is done on a sample of cells collected from the cervix . So, it does not eliminate to get a smear.”

He asked,

Is there some other test out there that I don’t know about?”

And continued,

“An HPV test is done to:

  • Check for high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) in women who had a Pap test that showed abnormal cervical cells called atypical squamous cells (ASC). An HPV test can help look for one or more high-risk types of HPV. If an HPV test shows that high-risk types of HPV are present, further testing, such as a colposcopy or cervical biopsy, may be recommended.
  • Check for HPV in women older than age 30 as part of screening for abnormal cervical cells.
  • To help check for abnormal cervical cells after treatment of a high-risk HPV infection.
  • The HPV test may be done at the same time as the Pap test. The results of this test can help doctors decide if further tests or treatments are needed”

Another interesting fact is Professor Sasieni has very strong links and alliances with none other than pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. He receives a research grant from the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme in England (

Now the National Health Service Screening Programme are mentioned on the GSK website (…)

Sasieni also works with an Anne Szarewski M.D at Cancer Research UK. We can see from the above link that she is sponsored by GSK.

Also in 2004 the BBC News spoke very highly of Szarewski when they covered news on the HPV vaccine (…). The BBC said:

Cancer Research UK’s Dr Anne Szarewski, who is trialling GSK’s vaccine in the Margaret Pyke Centre in London, said experts hoped that a course of three injections over six months could provide life-long immunity.

She said: “We know that certain types of the HPV virus, which is sexually transmitted, are the main cause of over 99 per cent of cervical cancer cases.

“With any disease caused by a virus, the best way to stop it is to prevent it with a vaccine.”

Interestingly she also said:

“The vaccine may even eventually mean the end of smear testing. But she cautioned: “It is early days and the vaccine is still being researched and will not be available for a few years.”

This proves that Cancer Research UK clearly have links with GSK and have right from the beginning been working towards phasing out the smear testing and promoting the vaccine to replace it. Another article ‘Cancer Research UK and Glaxosmithkline join forces to trial new anti-cancer drug’ (…) proves the link between Cancer Research UK and GSK further.

Cervarix is a vaccine manufactured by GSK and in the original article by the Express, Professor Sasieni is highly in favour of the Cervarix vaccine as a prevention of the HPV virus. The Express claims that:

Instead a less frequent test should be used to look for signs of the HPV virus that triggers the illness and at the same time a vaccination programme could mean today’s schoolgirls will grow up to be almost immune to the cancer form.”, an organisation that promotes safe, affordable, necessary and effective vaccines issued a press release (…) stating the following:

Many media sources claim anyone questioning vaccines is either ignorant and/or paying attention only to ‘junk’ science. Perhaps some of these ‘sources’ will listen to the man who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of HPV.”

The press release says: On 23 September 2010, Dr. Harald zur Hausen was a keynote speaker at an annual forum for Nobel Laureates held in Tokyo. The theme for this year’s forum was, “What can Science do for Human Beings?” SaneVax continues by giving excerpts from Dr. Hausen’s speech entitled, “Many Unknowns in Cancer Agent Search.” Nobel Laureate Dr. Harald zur Hausen comfirmed that HPV, in and of itself, does not cause cervical cancer. Other risk factors must be present to trigger the change to cancer.”

SaneVax continues:

What are HPV vaccines effective at? Preventing future infections with Human Papillomavirus–which is not a disease–it is a virus. A virus that may, with repeated infections of the same genotype, increase the risk of developing cervical cancer 15+ years down the road. A virus that is benign in most instances, and needs other risk factors present prior to causing cancer.

One more critical fact:  according to a clear statement made in a paper published on the results of an animal papillomavirus study sponsored in part by the National Cancer Institute, human papillomavirus (HPV) is highly species-specific, making it impossible to use animal studies to evaluate a vaccine’s efficacy. HPV vaccines can only be tested on humans. (Visit ( for details)”

If HPV does not cause cervical cancer without other risk factors being present, then a HPV test alone is simply not enough. Basically, by cutting corners, the UK is setting themselves up to have an increase in cases of cervical cancer rather than a decrease.

In my opinion the UK’s media should began to find the real experts to turn to for advice, rather than look to researchers who appear to be little more than GSK lapdogs. I believe that my evidence proves that GSK is financially influencing experts in attempts to change current medical practices and diagnostics in the early detection of cervical cancer. It’s clear they are carving a niche for themselves to sell their vaccines! By financing cancer research experts and support groups they can manipulate the market to benefit themselves.

About the author

Christina England, BA Hons