Cervical cancer vaccine moves closer to approval

In collaboration with the Press Association

A vaccine for cervical cancer, has been submitted to the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) and could be available within a year. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said that a marketing approval application for the vaccine Cervarix was filed with the EMEA on Thursday. The therapy has been developed to prevent the most common forms of the human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV16 and HPV18, known to cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers. The company claimed that clinical tests demonstrated the vaccine's was 100 per cent effective against the two strains and also provided "broader protection" against other HPV viruses. Cancer Research UK?s Dr Anne Szarewski said the vaccine would be good news for women: "HPV vaccination will significantly reduce not only the health burden caused by cervical cancer, but also the anxiety suffered by women around Pap smears and particularly around abnormal results." "It has the potential to revolutionize women's health. A cervical cancer vaccine is a major innovation and an important development for women everywhere." HPV viruses can be spread through skin-to-skin contact as well as intercourse, but not all strains of the disease can cause cancer. There are around 3,000 cases of cervical cancer in the UK each year.

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