Uterus1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Main Page
 Uterus News
Feature Story
 Education Center


Find a Physician
HTA in the News
 Heavy Periods Center
sharonbober  Uterus

Dr. Sharon Bober:
Healing the Sex Lives of Cancer Patients
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
Uterus1 Forums
Patient Stories
    Asked Questions

One Question Poll

Locate a Specialist
Online Resources
Uterus Anatomy
Video Library
Menstrual Diary
Office Visits
Patient Brochures
Search the Body1 Network
September 19, 2021  
UTERINE NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Study: Vaccine Protects Against Cancer

    Study: Vaccine Protects Against Cancer

    November 02, 2004

    Efforts to develop the world's first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer took a key step forward Monday with test results suggesting that it can provide long-lasting protection.

    Four years after getting the vaccine, 94 percent of women were protected from infection with the virus that causes most cervical cancers and none had developed worrisome precancerous conditions, a study showed.

    "We're thrilled about these results. The immune responses seem to be really long-lasting," said Dr. Eliav Barr, who leads development of the vaccine for Merck & Co. The company plans to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval next year for an expanded version of the vaccine that also could be used to prevent genital warts in both women and men.

    The new study was funded by Merck and led by University of Washington researchers who presented results Monday at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

    "They showed clear effectiveness," said Dr. Scott Hammer, a Columbia University infectious disease expert who reviewed the work but has no ties to Merck or the study. "This is a very important issue for women's health around the world."

    If the vaccine makes it to market, it would be the second developed to prevent cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine has dramatically reduced the number of infections that progress to liver cancer.

    Cervical cancer strikes nearly half a million women worldwide each year and kills about half. In the United States, about 15,000 women get it and about 5,000 die.

    Virtually all cases are caused by infection with human papilloma virus, or HPV, which is spread through sex. One strain, HPV-16, accounts for about half of all cervical cancers.

    A previous study showed that HPV-16 infections were completely prevented in 768 women who had received the Merck vaccine 18 months earlier. None developed precancerous conditions either.

    The new study followed 755 of these women for four years after vaccination. HPV-16 infections had taken hold in seven; none developed precancers. In a comparison group of 750 women who received dummy shots, infections took hold in 111 and precancers formed in 12.

    Even though protection had waned for a small number of women in the study, the vaccine's effectiveness was still very high, said Dr. Douglas Lowy, a National Cancer Institute scientist who invented the vaccine. The government gave rights to develop it to two companies _ Merck and GlaxoSmithKline _ and Merck's work is a little farther along, Lowy said.

    "Revaccination might be advisable at some point," but it will take more study to know whether that is necessary or would improve effectiveness, he said.

    Women in the study were ages 16 to 23 when they received the vaccine, given in three doses over six months.

    "Most people think it would be recommended for young adolescents. The idea would be you would immunize people relatively soon before they become sexually active," because the germ is spread through sex, Lowy said.

    Meanwhile, Merck is in the final stages of testing an expanded vaccine. Besides HPV-16, it contains strain 18, which causes another 10 percent to 20 percent of cervical cancers, as well as strains that cause genital warts in men and women, and penile and anal cancers in men.

    About 25,000 women and men have been enrolled in that study in 34 countries, and results are expected next year, Barr said.

    Giving the vaccine to men would not only prevent disease in them but also would prevent infections in their partners, said Steven Projan, a drug development expert with Wyeth who helped review research for the microbiology meeting. The vaccine also might prevent women already infected with HPV from developing cancer, he said.

    Last updated: 02-Nov-04

    Interact on Uterus1

    Discuss this topic with others.
    Feature Archives

    Breast Milk as Nutrition and Medication for Critically Ill Infants

    Study Finds New Moms Still Excessively Sleepy After Four Months

    Preterm Infants and Their Mothers Benefit from Maternal Singing During Skin-to-Skin Contact

    Stress Impacts Ability to Get Pregnant

    Link Discovered Between Bacteria and Premature Water Breaking

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
    Related Content
    New vaccine may prevent cervical cancer

    HPV Vaccine Poised to Save Women’s Lives

    HPV Vaccine Provides Hope and Education

    Americans in the Dark about Shingles

    Swine Flu Could Infect Half of US this Fall; Take Precautions

    More Features ...
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    © 2021 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.