Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Promising Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Defends Against Most Common Types of HPV


"At the moment, I think the important thing is to determine whether the vaccine works. Until you know the vaccine works, there's not much point in worrying about how to deliver it," says Ian Frazer, HPV researcher at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Nevertheless, he says, "All the data to date show that this is going to be an effective vaccine."

Even if it is a success and millions are immunized, it wouldn't be the end of HPV vaccine research. It would not help women who are already infected. What's more, other types of HPV cause 30% of all cervical cancers. This vaccine isn't designed to protect against those.

An ideal vaccine would cover the vast majority of HPV types and cure infection in addition to preventing it. Frazer is working to create such a vaccine, but because it must be far more complex than Villa's vaccine, the work has been going slowly.

Eventually, it would be good to vaccinate men, too. "It's doable, if people put money behind it," Villa says.

If all men and women were vaccinated, HPV could be wiped out. "In principle, although I suspect not in practice, this is a virus that could potentially be eliminated the same way as we have eliminated smallpox," Frazer says.

For now, HPV will remain a major threat to women's health. Doctors urge women to get yearly Pap smears -- a test that looks for cervical cells that aren't normal, signaling the presence of HPV. These abnormal cells don't always turn into cancer, but they should be watched closely.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror