Sunday, November 4, 2007

HPV Vaccine May be Available to Older Women

As of now, Merck's vaccine for HPV (Gardasil) is only offered to females from age 9 to 26. However, a study recently showed that the vaccine can be effective in women up to age 45. Use of the vaccine in older women still requires FDA approval. Since we were just talking about vaccine licensing and which companies produce which vaccines, it is interesting to note that Glaxo-SmithKline has their own HPV vaccine called Cervarix. We actually discussed this in class last Thursday since one of the charts shows that the Glaxo-SmithKline vaccine is in phase III. After two years, their vaccination elicits an antibody response at the cervix, the site of infection. Also of interest is the fact that cervical cancer is the second most common type of tumor in women. It accounts for the highest number of cancer deaths in some countries. Over 25% of females from 14 to 59 are infected at some point (since the infection usually goes away).

Jasmeen Miah

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