Two recent studies of the cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil indicate it could help prevent conditions that lead to anal cancer, cervical cancer, and other diseases that affect gay men and older women.
Drugmaker Merck & Co. reported the results of two recent studies at the European Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia conference in Monte Carlo, Monaco, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"In one study, Gardasil was 89% effective in preventing human papillomavirus, a virus that causes cervical cancer and other diseases, in women ages 24 through 45," reported the Journal.
"In the other study, the drug was 78% effective against anal intraepithelial neoplasia, a precursor to anal cancer, associated with HPV in men ages 16 to 26 who have sex with men."
Currently, Gardasil is OK'd for use in girls and young women ages 9 to 26 for prevention of some types of HPV. It is also approved for use in males of the same age range for the purpose of preventing genital warts.
Merck is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval to expand Gardisal's use in women ages 27 to 45, according to the Journal.