Cancer Vaccine Approval - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/8/06

Cancer Vaccine Approval

A history making vaccine has gotten the green light from the government. The FDA has approved Gardisil, made by Merck. It helps prevent cervical cancer by neutralizing two strains of the human papilloma virus, which is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country and the cause of seventy percent of all cervical cancers.

"We can now include the worst types of HPV, and most cervical cancer in the list of diseases that no one needs suffer or die from ever again," said Alex Azar, a Deputy Secretary.

"That's a big deal, it's a big deal not just in this country but worldwide as well. Um, worldwide cervical cancer deaths are only secondary to breast cancer deaths," said Ursula Matulonis, of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

The vaccine prevents cervical cancer for use in girls and young women from age nine to twenty six. But the vaccine is not without controversy, because it is most effective when given to youngsters starting at age nine, which is hopefully before they become sexually active. So a lot of people are frowning over that but the American Academy of Immunology is considering whether or not it should be mandatory among the list of childhood vaccinations.

Again, the vaccine is called Gardisil and it's given in three doses over six months. It could make it into doctors offices as early as this summer.

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