A new HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine has been developed, which offers greater protection than the one currently available.
A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared the safety and efficacy of the new vaccine against the current standard treatment. The new vaccine is able to defend against nine types of the virus, with seven of these causes most cases of cervical cancer.
Researchers found that the new vaccine offers significantly greater protection than the current one, which only safeguards against two cancer-causing types of HPV. The pivotal international clinical trial included more than 14,200 women aged between 16 and 26 years old.
Based on the findings, the team predict that around 90 per cent of all cervical cancers worldwide could be prevented.
Professor Jack Cuzick of Queen Mary University of London, who co-authored the report and participated in the design and analysis of the study, called the vaccine a "significant achievement".
He said it is not only safe but will offer greatly improved protection against cervical and other cancers, which will eventually mean that less screening is needed.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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