Welcome to the GP Bulletin. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.


Final efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety analyses of a nine-valent human papillomavirus vaccine in women aged 16–26 years: a randomised, double-blind trial


Primary analyses of a study in young women aged 16–26 years showed efficacy of the nine-valent human papillomavirus (9vHPV; HPV 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) vaccine against infections and disease related to HPV 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, and non-inferior HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 antibody responses when compared with quadrivalent HPV (qHPV; HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18) vaccine. We aimed to report efficacy of the 9vHPV vaccine for up to 6 years following first administration and antibody responses over 5 years.


We undertook this randomised, double-blind, efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety study of the 9vHPV vaccine study at 105 study sites in 18 countries. Women aged 16–26 years old who were healthy, with no history of abnormal cervical cytology, no previous abnormal cervical biopsy results, and no more than four lifetime sexual partners were randomly assigned (1:1) by central randomisation and block sizes of 2 and 2 to receive three intramuscular injections over 6 months of 9vHPV or qHPV (control) vaccine. All participants, study investigators, and study site personnel, laboratory staff, members of the sponsor’s study team, and members of the adjudication pathology panel were masked to vaccination groups. The primary outcomes were incidence of high-grade cervical disease (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3, adenocarcinoma in situ, invasive cervical carcinoma), vulvar disease (vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3, vulvar cancer), and vaginal disease (vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3, vaginal cancer) related to HPV 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 and non-inferiority (excluding a decrease of 1·5 times) of anti-HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 geometric mean titres (GMT). Tissue samples were adjudicated for histopathology diagnosis and tested for HPV DNA. Serum antibody responses were assessed by competitive Luminex immunoassay. The primary evaluation of efficacy was a superiority analysis in the per-protocol efficacy population, supportive efficacy was analysed in the modified intention-to-treat population, and the primary evaluation of immunogenicity was a non-inferiority analysis. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00543543.


Between Sept 26, 2007, and Dec 18, 2009, we recruited and randomly assigned 14 215 participants to receive 9vHPV (n=7106) or qHPV (n=7109) vaccine. In the per-protocol population, the incidence of high-grade cervical, vulvar and vaginal disease related to HPV 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 was 0·5 cases per 10 000 person-years in the 9vHPV and 19·0 cases per 10 000 person-years in the qHPV groups, representing 97·4% efficacy (95% CI 85·0–99·9). HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 GMTs were non-inferior in the 9vHPV versus qHPV group from month 1 to 3 years after vaccination. No clinically meaningful differences in serious adverse events were noted between the study groups. 11 participants died during the study follow-up period (six in the 9vHPV vaccine group and five in the qHPV vaccine group); none of the deaths were considered vaccine-related.


The 9vHPV vaccine prevents infection, cytological abnormalities, high-grade lesions, and cervical procedures related to HPV 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. Both the 9vHPV vaccine and qHPV vaccine had a similar immunogenicity profile with respect to HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18. Vaccine efficacy was sustained for up to 6 years. The 9vHPV vaccine could potentially provide broader coverage and prevent 90% of cervical cancer cases worldwide.

Effects of weight loss interventions for adults who are obese on mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis

Objective To assess whether weight loss interventions for adults with obesity affect all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and body weight.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using random effects, estimating risk ratios, and mean differences. Heterogeneity investigated using Cochran’s Q and I2 statistics. Quality of evidence assessed by GRADE criteria.

Data sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and full texts in our trials’ registry for data not evident in databases. Authors were contacted for unpublished data.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies RCTs of dietary interventions targeting weight loss, with or without exercise advice or programmes, for adults with obesity and follow-up ≥1 year.

Results 54 RCTs with 30 206 participants were identified. All but one trial evaluated low fat, weight reducing diets. For the primary outcome, high quality evidence showed that weight loss interventions decrease all cause mortality (34 trials, 685 events; risk ratio 0.82, 95% confidence interval 0.71 to 0.95), with six fewer deaths per 1000 participants (95% confidence interval two to 10). For other primary outcomes moderate quality evidence showed an effect on cardiovascular mortality (eight trials, 134 events; risk ratio 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 1.31), and very low quality evidence showed an effect on cancer mortality (eight trials, 34 events; risk ratio 0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.30 to 1.11). Twenty four trials (15 176 participants) reported high quality evidence on participants developing new cardiovascular events (1043 events; risk ratio 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 1.04). Nineteen trials (6330 participants) provided very low quality evidence on participants developing new cancers (103 events; risk ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.63 to 1.36).

Conclusions Weight reducing diets, usually low in fat and saturated fat, with or without exercise advice or programmes, may reduce premature all cause mortality in adults with obesity.

Systematic review registration PROSPERO CRD42016033217.

Reference: BMJ 2017;359:j4849

Symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections in the ambulatory setting: randomised, double blind trial

Objective To investigate whether symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is non-inferior to antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, thus offering an opportunity to reduce antibiotic use in ambulatory care.

Design Randomised, double blind, non-inferiority trial.

Setting 17 general practices in Switzerland.

Participants 253 women with uncomplicated lower UTI were randomly assigned 1:1 to symptomatic treatment with the NSAID diclofenac (n=133) or antibiotic treatment with norfloxacin (n=120). The randomisation sequence was computer generated, stratified by practice, blocked, and concealed using sealed, sequentially numbered drug containers.

Main outcome measures The primary outcome was resolution of symptoms at day 3 (72 hours after randomisation and 12 hours after intake of the last study drug). The prespecified principal secondary outcome was the use of any antibiotic (including norfloxacin and fosfomycin as trial drugs) up to day 30. Analysis was by intention to treat.

Results 72/133 (54%) women assigned to diclofenac and 96/120 (80%) assigned to norfloxacin experienced symptom resolution at day 3 (risk difference 27%, 95% confidence interval 15% to 38%, P=0.98 for non-inferiority, P<0.001 for superiority). The median time until resolution of symptoms was four days in the diclofenac group and two days in the norfloxacin group. A total of 82 (62%) women in the diclofenac group and 118 (98%) in the norfloxacin group used antibiotics up to day 30 (risk difference 37%, 28% to 46%, P<0.001 for superiority). Six women in the diclofenac group (5%) but none in the norfloxacin group received a clinical diagnosis of pyelonephritis (P=0.03).

Conclusion Diclofenac is inferior to norfloxacin for symptom relief of UTI and is likely to be associated with an increased risk of pyelonephritis, even though it reduces antibiotic use in women with uncomplicated lower UTI.

Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01039545.

Reference: BMJ 2017;359:j4784

Primary medical care policy and guidance manual

NHS England has published two annexes to the Primary Medical Care Policy and Guidance Manual.  The annexes cover managing patient assignments and practice visits.  The policy provides commissioners of GP services with the context, information and tools to commission and manage GP contracts.

Rivaroxaban with or without Aspirin in Stable Cardiovascular Disease


We evaluated whether rivaroxaban alone or in combination with aspirin would be more effective than aspirin alone for secondary cardiovascular prevention.


In this double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 27,395 participants with stable atherosclerotic vascular disease to receive rivaroxaban (2.5 mg twice daily) plus aspirin (100 mg once daily), rivaroxaban (5 mg twice daily), or aspirin (100 mg once daily). The primary outcome was a composite of cardiovascular death, stroke, or myocardial infarction. The study was stopped for superiority of the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group after a mean follow-up of 23 months.


The primary outcome occurred in fewer patients in the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group than in the aspirin-alone group (379 patients [4.1%] vs. 496 patients [5.4%]; hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.86; P<0.001; z=−4.126), but major bleeding events occurred in more patients in the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group (288 patients [3.1%] vs. 170 patients [1.9%]; hazard ratio, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.40 to 2.05; P<0.001). There was no significant difference in intracranial or fatal bleeding between these two groups. There were 313 deaths (3.4%) in the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group as compared with 378 (4.1%) in the aspirin-alone group (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.96; P=0.01; threshold P value for significance, 0.0025). The primary outcome did not occur in significantly fewer patients in the rivaroxaban-alone group than in the aspirin-alone group, but major bleeding events occurred in more patients in the rivaroxaban-alone group.


Among patients with stable atherosclerotic vascular disease, those assigned to rivaroxaban (2.5 mg twice daily) plus aspirin had better cardiovascular outcomes and more major bleeding events than those assigned to aspirin alone. Rivaroxaban (5 mg twice daily) alone did not result in better cardiovascular outcomes than aspirin alone and resulted in more major bleeding events. (Funded by Bayer; COMPASS ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01776424.)

Urinary Incontinence in Women

Importance  Urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, is a common health condition that may decrease quality of life. Ten to twenty percent of women and up to 77% of women residing in nursing homes have urinary incontinence, yet only 25% seek or receive treatment.

Observations  This review summarizes the evaluation and therapeutic options for women affected by urinary incontinence. The initial assessment should focus on understanding the effect of incontinence on quality of life, the patient’s goals and preferences for treatment, the results of previous treatments, and the presence of concomitant conditions, such as advanced pelvic organ prolapse, that may require referral. Infection and hematuria need to be ruled out. In the absence of urinary infection or serious underlying pathology (such as cancer or serious neurologic disease) associated with urinary incontinence, the clinician should initiate unsupervised pelvic muscle exercises and lifestyle modifications appropriate to the patient to reduce her symptoms. These recommendations can include weight loss, adequate hydration, avoidance of excessive fluids, and regular voiding intervals that reduce urgency incontinence episodes. Urgency incontinence medications, with timely reassessment of symptoms, can be started without extensive evaluation. Specialist treatments for urgency incontinence include onabotulinumtoxinA and percutaneous or implanted neuromodulators. Stress incontinence surgery, the midurethral sling, is associated with symptom improvement in 48% to 90% of women and has low rates of mesh complications (<5%).

Conclusions and Relevance  Urinary incontinence is common in women, although few seek care despite many effective treatment options. Clinicians should prioritize urinary incontinence detection, identify and treat modifiable factors, incorporate patient preference into evaluation and treatment, initiate conservative and medical therapy, and refer to specialists when underlying pathology is identified or conservative measures are ineffective.

Reference: JAMA. 2017;318(16):1592-1604. 

Effect of Oral Semaglutide Compared With Placebo and Subcutaneous Semaglutide on Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

Question  What is the effect of oral semaglutide on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes?

Finding  In this randomized clinical trial of 632 patients with type 2 diabetes followed up for 31 weeks, oral semaglutide significantly reduced hemoglobin A1c level by up to 1.9% vs placebo (0.3%).

Meaning  Oral semaglutide resulted in better glycemic control than placebo over 26 weeks. Phase 3 studies are warranted to assess longer-term and clinical outcomes, as well as safety.

Reference: JAMA. 2017;318(15):1460-1470.