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New Vaccine to Bring Dramatic Decrease in Cervical Cancer Deaths

GlaxoSmithKline has reported that its experimental vaccine against a virus that causes cervical cancer could bring about a decrease in the number// of cases and deaths from the illness by up to 76 percent.

Their vaccine, Cervarix prevents the infection from two strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is responsible for about 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer.

At a medical conference in Prague researchers who undertook a computer model study funded by GlaxoSmithKline predicted the impact the vaccine would have in Britain if all 12 year-old girls were vaccinated.

According to them if coverage was 100 percent, the company claimed that it could lead to a decrease in deaths by 76 percent. The research revealed that eighty percent vaccine coverage could reduce cases and deaths by 61 percent.

The researchers said, "Over the lifetime of a UK cohort of 12 year old females, the model predicts the occurrence of 2,636 cervical cancer cases and 1,403 cancer deaths without vaccination. With vaccination at 100 percent coverage, the forecast would be as low as 632 cancer cases (76 percent reduction) and 335 cancer deaths (also 76 percent reduction)."

These estimates have been made based on the vaccination being paired with the existing cervical screening program. Dr Anne Szarewski, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said HPV vaccination offers hope of reducing cases and preventing deaths from the illness.

She said, "Currently there are 3,000 women in the UK who get cervical cancer each year -- despite a highly efficient screening program."

Competing drug manufacturer Merck & Co Inc has also produced a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Their vaccine, Gardasil has been recommended by the European Medicines Agency to prevent cancer caused by four strains of HPV. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June has approved it.


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