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Researchers are hoping a vaccine could help protect more women from cervical cancer and also be used to prevent anal cancer in men.
The Gardasil vaccine is already approved to prevent cervical cancer in women and genital warts in females and men aged between 9 and 26.
But Merck & Co, who manufacture the drug, are to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market the vaccine for preventing cervical cancer and genital warts in women up to age 45 and anal cancer in males following new studies by the firm.
The vaccine is designed to block four of the most common strains of the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus, or HPV. Two of those HPV strains cause the majority of cases of cervical cancer and anal cancer, and the other two can cause genital warts.
The results were released early Wednesday, in conjunction with their presentation at a European conference of doctors and researchers specializing in cancer and genital infections.
Copyright Press Association 2010
Merck & Co