The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first vaccine to protect women against cancer of the cervix, as well as a combination of drugs to improve survival in women with late-stage cervical cancer.
The vaccine, called Gardasil, is approved for use in girls and women from age 9 to 26 years. It is effective against 4 strains of the human papillomavirus. But because Gardasil does not protect against less common virus strains, routine Papanicolaou tests will continue to be important for detecting precancerous changes in the cervix.
Hampton T. Attacking Cervical Cancer. JAMA. 2006;296(4):384. doi:10.1001/jama.296.4.384-d