Cervical Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
Vaccine's Maker Plans to File for FDA Review by Year's End
"Cervical cancer is a major problem, especially in developing countries,
where they don't have the screening capabilities the way we do for the Pap
test. This is something that could be helpful as far as saving lives," says
"The study of HPV vaccines is important because cervical cancer is a
leading cancer killer of women in many countries, and in many countries
cervical screening is not available or feasible to introduce. There are other
benefits as well, but this is the biggest one," states Saslow.
It's not yet clear if developing countries will have access to the vaccine,
"An HPV vaccine would have the greatest impact in the U.S if it was
targeted at the population that is least likely to get screened and therefore
most at risk from cervical cancer," Saslow notes.
"We're really quite excited about these results," Skidmore tells
WebMD. "This is a vaccine that we have been working on for more than a
decade, and it has the potential to improve the health of women around the
Another Vaccine in the Works
Another cervical cancer vaccine -- Cervarix, made by
GlaxoSmithKline -- is also in the works. GlaxoSmithKline is a WebMD
"We've completed phase II studies and that data was published in The
Lancet last year," GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Danielle Halstrom tells
WebMD. "In that study, we showed 100% protection against persistent
infection of HPV 16 and 18."
Phase III studies of Cervarix are now underway. They will include about
35,000 women in 14 countries. "We have completed enrollment of those
studies. The studies are progressing nicely," says Halstrom.