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. (
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