Saturday, September 22, 2007
According to the Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, Merck reports that its HPV vaccine Gardasil gives significant protection against 10 strains of the virus, in addition to the 4 strains targeted by the vaccine.
The new data found that Gardasil reduced by nearly two-thirds the incidence of precancerous lesions caused by HPV for three of the most common HPV strains found in North America after strains 16 and 18. The three strains cause about 11% of cervical cancers worldwide. According to the AP/Daily News, the finding means that Gardasil provides at least partial protection to 90% of HPV strains that cause cervical cancer.
It is estimated that the finding could prevent between 30,000 and 40,000 cervical cancer cases annually by encouraging greater use of the drug in developing countries, where some of the additional strains are widespread.