The Food and Drug
Administration on Thursday approved the Luma Cervical
Imaging System, an optical device used to screen for early
signs of cervical cancer. The device is more accurate
at identifying precancerous lesions on a
woman's cervix than traditional colposcopy
procedures, according to studies, allowing doctors to
catch the earliest signs of the disease. The device is
made by Lexington, Mass.-based MediSpectra.
cases of cervical cancer are linked to certain strains of
the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. The FDA is
currently reviewing an HPV vaccine called Gardasil,
made by Merck, which could protect against several HPV
strains and prevent more than 70% of cervical cancer
cases. A decision by the agency on the vaccine is expected
by the summer. Cervical cancer is an AIDS-defining
condition among HIV-positive women. (The
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