Gardisil HPV Vaccine
Approved By FDA Panel - May Prevent Cervical Cancer - Approval Could
Prevent Most Common Sexual Virus
May 18th 2006
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval
(13 to 0 vote) of the first vaccine to fight cancer. The vaccine,
Gardisil (quadrivalent human papillomavirus types 6, 11, 16, 18,
recombinant vaccine), is a vaccine that can be used against the human
papilloma virus (HPV) which has been linked to cervical cancer. The FDA
is not required to follow the advice of its panels, but they usually
do. A decision on approval by the FDA is expected by June 8.
Gardisil, manufactured by Merck, is a vaccine that is most effective in
women before they become sexually active. It is hoped the vaccine will
help prevent hundreds of thousands of women from dying worldwide of
cervical cancer. According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham,
it is estimated that 450,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
annually and 200,000 women die each year from the disease. Other
sources say the number of deaths might be as high as 300,000 per year.
In the U.S. approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical
cancer, resulting in 4,500 deaths each year.