STD Vaccine Could Aid In Cervical Cancer Fight
New research has illustrated the effectiveness of an STD vaccine against the prevention of cervical cancer. The issue may have a little controversy, however, as it’s most effective on youngsters.
The vaccine, named Gardasil, has passed late stage testing on 1500 boys and girls ages 10 to 15, proving effective against the cervical cancer causing sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV).
Twenty million Americans have HPV, a leading cause of cervical and other kinds of cancer, as well as genital warts.
Al Rauch, analyst for A.G. Edwards said, “it’s certainly a major medical need in the ability to prevent cervical cancer,” said Rauch. “That gives it the potential to be a blockbuster. We’re not expecting a real quick ramp up on this, though it could become a billion dollar drug.”
The study showed that pre-adolescents and early adolescents responded the most to the vaccine. Post-adolescents and adult women demonstrated limited response, as many of them were already sexually active and exposed to the virus.
Barbara Ryan, analyst for Deutsche Bank North America, feels this will leave some folks with a sour taste in their mouths.
“It’s a potentially politically charged issue because you’re talking about vaccinating people against sexually transmitted diseases when they’re 12 or 13,” Ryan said.
The drug has been called a cervical cancer vaccine. But that is really a misnomer, as it is a vaccine against an STD that is a cause of cervical cancer, the second biggest killer of women worldwide.