Cervical Cancer Vaccine ‘Around the Corner’

Cancer vaccine ‘around the corner’ (ITV)

A pioneering drug that could protect against cervical cancer could soon end the race to find a vaccine for the disease. The drug, which targets the virus that causes cancer of the cervix in women, could almost eradicate the disease, say researchers. In trials, the vaccine was also effective against genital warts, a sexually-transmitted infection affecting around two per cent of adults. Cervical cancer affects some 470,000 women a year and survival chances are good if the disease is detected and treated early.

The findings, published in the The Lancet Oncology, put pharmaceutical giants Merck & Co Inc ahead in the race to market the world’s first anti-cancer vaccine. It could be on the market in two years.


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James Joyner
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  1. Sherri says:

    If a woman has already been exposed to one of the viruses the vaccine covers, will it still prevent cervical cancer? Or will it only prevent it if a woman has never been exposed to the viruses that cause warts?

    If it will prevent cervical cancer, even if a woman has already been exposed prior to vaccination, how do they KNOW it prevents cervical cancer? How long was the study? Side effects weren’t mentioned either.

  2. jen says:

    My OB, years ago, told me that cervical cancer is directly linked to a specific STD (HPV). If you don’t have that STD, you won’t get cervical cancer. The Pap smear is the test for that STD in addition to the cancer.

    She also told me that virgins need not get the Pap until they become sexually active, since they will not have the STD that leads to the cancer.

  3. Sherri says:

    “Medical scientists are of the view that the best way to prevent cervical cancer is to tackle HPV, the sexually transmitted virus. Three-quarters of sexually active women are understood to be infected with HPV at some time during their lives but in most cases it only lasts for a short time and produces no symptoms.”

    “Dr Luisa Villa… and her team… found the vaccine was 90 percent effective against infection with HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 strains and provided 100 percent protection against pre-cancerous cervical lesions.”

    A vaccine for cervical cancer found