There are promising indications that the Gardasil vaccine may offer protection against cervical cancer beyond what is currently claimed, according to drug maker Merck & Co.
Gardasil was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in June to prevent infection by four strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). Two of the HPV strains targeted by Gardasil cause about 70 percent of all cases of cervical cancer, while the other two targeted strains primarily cause genital warts.
Merck says that the vaccine may also offer "cross-protection" against other cancer-causing strains of HPV that aren't specifically targeted by Gardasil, Dow Jones/AP reported.
The drug maker said it's currently studying whether the vaccine is able to prevent precancerous lesions caused by these other HPV strains. Early results from the study have been encouraging, according to a Merck executive. – (HealthDayNews)
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