The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Cervarix - A Second HPV Vaccine

The FDA has approved a recombinant human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Cervarix – GlaxoSmithKline) for use in girls and women 10-25 years old to prevent infection with HPV types 16 and 18, which have been associated with cervical cancer. A recombinant quadrivalent HPV vaccine (Gardasil – Merck) already on the market in the US prevents infection with HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18.1

BACKGROUND — HPV is commonly acquired by young women soon after initiation of sexual activity, with a cumulative incidence of 40% within 16 months.2 Although most HPV infections clear spontaneously without clinical sequelae, persistent infection can cause abnormalities in the cervical epithelium that may progress to cancer. HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for more than 70% of cervical cancers and high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), a precursor of cervical cancer. ... more      

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