Updated 10/05/2012 04:34 PM
Healthy Living: New HPV vaccine on the horizon
Gardasil protects against the four most common strains of HPV which cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. As our Katie Gibas reports, a new vaccine that would protect against eight strands of HPV is almost finished with clinical trials.
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"HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection that exists. There are more than one million new cases of genital warts in the U.S. There are almost as many new cases of cervical dysphasias. These are abnormal pap smears that are caused by HPV," said Dr. Joe Domachowske, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse.
There are two HPV vaccines on the market in the United States. Cervarix only protects against the two most common cancer-causing strains of HPV, not genital warts. Gardasil protects against four strains of HPV, genital warts and a number of cancers including cervical, penile, anal, throat and head cancers. As of right now, the long-term efficacy is still being studied. But, so far, no boosters or revaccinations are needed.
"They don't have to think about getting re-dosed unless or until we learn about breakthroughs or another reason to consider revaccinating or boosting everyone would be if a more advanced generation vaccine becomes available and offers protection against additional HPV types," said Dr. Domachowske.
And a new vaccine that would protect against eight strands of HPV is almost finished with clinical trials.
"After the trials are done, the information gets collected, presented to the food and drug administration and the FDA decides if this vaccine is as safe and works at least as well as the current vaccines, and if so, they will approve it for use. Probably will take an additional several years," said Dr. Domachowske.
Doctors still recommend the vaccine for both girls and boys ages 11 through 26. And it's most effective when administered before the child becomes sexually active.