FDA expands uses of cancer vaccine

Sept. 12, 2008 at 10:12 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded the use of the cervical vaccine Gardasil for the prevention of vaginal and vulvar cancers.

"There is now strong evidence showing that this vaccine can help prevent vulvar and vaginal cancers due to the same viruses for which it also helps protect against cervical cancer," Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Friday in a statement. "While vulvar and vaginal cancers are rare, the opportunity to help prevent them is potentially an important additional benefit from immunization against HPV."

The FDA approved Gardasil in 2006 for girls and women ages 9 to 26 for the prevention of cervical cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus types 16 and 18, precancerous genital lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18, and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11.

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