A new vaccine could cut 70% of the cervical cancer cases, which kills nearly a quarter of a million women each year worldwide and is caused by certain types of HPV infections.
For the study, 1,113 North American and Brazilian women aged 15 to 25 received three doses of either the vaccine or a placebo.
Of the 721 (65%) women who completed the protocol, the vaccine proved 100% effective against persistent HPV 16/18 infections. For women who got at least one dose, the vaccine proved 95% effective against persistent infection and offered complete protection against HPV 16/18-related cervical tissue pre-cancers.
HPV vaccines are considered close to market, with both Merck and Co. and GlaxoSmithKline currently developing products. The vaccine used in this study was made by a branch of GlaxoSmithKline.