Gardasil, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that targets 2 HPV strains that cause about 70% of cervical cancers, is more effective in preventing precancerous cervical lesions in women who have not been previously exposed to HPV than in those already infected with the virus, according to findings by an international team of scientists (FUTURE II Study Group. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:1915-1927).
In the study, funded by the vaccine's manufacturer, Merck & Co (Whitehouse Station, NJ), 12 167 women aged 15 to 26 years were randomized to receive either the vaccine or placebo. At baseline, 93% of the women were already sexually active and 27% had been infected by at least 1 HPV strain.
Stephenson J. HPV Vaccine. JAMA. 2007;297(23):2578. doi:10.1001/jama.297.23.2578-c
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