Cervical Cancer Vaccine A Step Nearer


Four years after receiving Merck’s vaccine, 94 per cent of the 755 women tested were protected from the HPV virus that caused most cervical cancers, and none had developed pre-cancerous conditions. US FDA approval will be sought next year.


Open quotesThis would be the second anti-cancer vaccine on the marketClose quotes


This study was funded by Merck and led by the University of Washington. A previous study showed that HPV-16 (which accounts for half of all cervical cancers) infections were completely prevented in 768 women who had received the Merck vaccine 18 months earlier. All women were in the 18-23 age group.


A spokesman described the results as extremely important. This would be the second anti-cancer vaccine on the market. The other - the hepatitis B vaccine - has dramatically reduced the number of infections that progress to liver cancer.

The vaccine has also been shown to be effective in preventing genital warts. A large scale study is looking at the effectiveness for men, who can be unsuspecting carriers of HPV.

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