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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Effective in Some Women

Vaccine protects 90.5 percent of women aged 24 to 45 years with no current infection

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine offers women aged 24 to 45 years, with no current infection, 90.5 percent protection against disease associated with HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18, according to a study published online on June 2 in The Lancet.

Nubia Munoz, M.D., of the National Institute of Cancer in Bogota, Colombia, and colleagues conducted a study of women aged 24 to 45 years with no history of genital warts or cervical disease, of whom 1,911 were randomized to receive quadrivalent HPV vaccine and 1,908 were randomized to receive placebo, at the start of the study and again at two and six months.

Among the women given the vaccine, efficacy against disease or infection related to HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 was 90.5 percent, and was 83.1 percent for efficacy against HPV 16 and 18 alone, the investigators discovered. Among women infected at baseline, efficacy was 30.9 percent against the four HPV strains and 22.6 percent against HPV 16 and 18 only, the researchers note.

"Our results are generalizable to women aged 24 to 45 years in the general population who have had no (recent) cervical disease and no previous history of external genital disease," the authors write. "Generalizability in this population is supported by the standard screening and management procedures that were used, and by the fact that the number of lifetime sexual partners was not an inclusion or exclusion criterion."

The study was funded by Merck (USA), which manufactures the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, Gardasil, and several of the authors reported having received funding from Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Pasteur MSD, and other companies.

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