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Merck’s
cervical cancer vaccine also protects against other cancers

Merck’s
cervical cancer vaccine also protects against other cancers

Gardasil also shown to protect against vaginal and vulvar cancers

Researchers reported at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology that Merck's experimental cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil also seems to offer protection against vaginal and vulvar cancers, the Associated Press reports. Gardasil creates immunity against four strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus linked with about 70% of cervical cancer cases. But ongoing clinical trial data now show the vaccine also offers protection against vaginal and vulvar cancers, which also are linked to HPV. About 80% of women with vaginal or vulvar cancer test positive for HPV, say researchers. An ongoing vaccine study of 18,000 women showed that 24 of those in a placebo group developed vaginal or vulvar cancer; none of the study subjects receiving the vaccine developed the cancers. A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee in May voted to recommend the full agency approve Gardasil to protect against cervical cancer for girls and women ages nine to 26. (The Advocate)

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