Cervical Cancer Drug Shows Promise

SEPTEMBER 01, 2005
Susan Farley

An investigational vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease that has been linked to cervical cancer has produced a stronger immune response in adolescents in a late-stage trial. The trial of the drug Gardisil, by Merck and Co, included 1529 individuals between the ages of 10 and 15 and produced a better immune response, compared with young women aged 16 to 23. The vaccine was designed to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), a cause of cervical cancer. These phase 3 data support previous studies of the drug's use in young women that showed Gardisil can reduce the incidence of infections, which includes genital warts and cervical precancers. This is the first trial to examine the effects on people aged 10 to 15?what the company calls "a bridging study." Researchers determined their immune responses by measuring the level of anti-HPV antibodies in the blood. Eliav Barr, head of clinical research for HPV vaccines at Merck, remarked, "What it means is that both kids as well as adults over the entire age range, almost all respond to the vaccine."

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.


The Oncology Care Pharmacist in Health-System Pharmacy 
According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 40% of men and women will be given a diagnosis of some form of cancer in their lifetime.



Conference Coverage
News from the year's biggest meetings

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs


Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.