17-Dec-14 10:15 AM  CST

HPV Vaccine Useful in Preventing other Cancers

Earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new HPV vaccine that shown to be effective in fighting 9 strains of Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV) known to cause cancer. Gardasil 9 is a step up from the previous HPV vaccine Gardasil. The new vaccine has the potential to protect against 90% of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV. The previous vaccine, Gardasil, was effective in guarding against two to four types of cancers caused by HPV.

Gardasil 9 is recommended for women between the ages of 9 -26, and for men between the ages of 9-15. According to the FDA the new vaccine is effective in preventing HPV strains, 16, 18,31,33,45,52, and 58 as well as genital warts type 6 and 11. HPV strains 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 are responsible for more than 20% of all cervical cancer diagnoses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 14 million people are newly diagnosed with HPV each years. The virus, which is responsible for causing genital warts and lesions, may also cause cancers of the anus, vagina, cervix, and penis, particularly HPV 16 and 18. According to the CDC, most sexually active men and women will contract some strain of HPV within their lifetime, but many will clear on their own without the individual knowing they have the virus.

The new Gardasil 9 vaccine is administered as a 3 vaccine series, starting at the age of 11. The CDC stated that while the vaccine is effective in preventing HPV strains, many teenagers do not complete the series, which of course, does not allow the vaccine to be as effective as it could be. It is for this reason that the CDC emphasizes the importance of completing the vaccine series.




Fox, M., (2014) “New HPV vaccine broadens cancer protection”NBC News, http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/new-hpv-vaccine-broadens-cancer-protection-n265761, retrieved 11.December 2014

Loftus, P., (2014) “FDA clears new version of Merck’s Gardasil” Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-clears-mercks-gardasil-to-treat-broader-range-of-cancers-1418243098, retrieved 11. December 2014

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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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