Study confirms Cervarix efficacy

The largest efficacy trial of a cervical cancer vaccine has shown that Cervarix protects against the five most common cancer-causing virus types.

The study, which involved 18,644 women and was published in The Lancet, confirmed that GSK’s Cervarix is highly effective at protecting against the two most common cervical cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) types, 16 and 18.

The study showed that the vaccine also protects against HPV types 31, 33 and 45, the three most common cancer-causing virus types beyond 16 and 18.

Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer of GSK Biologicals, commented: "These excellent study results confirm the efficacy offered by Cervarix against HPV 16 and 18. For the first time the results show that this vaccine was effective against cervical pre-cancers associated with the five most common cancer-causing virus types.

“This is really good news for primary prevention of cervical cancer as it indicates the vaccine could offer women additional protection against cervical cancer beyond what had at first been anticipated."

In women who complied with the trial protocol procedures, the vaccine provided 92.2% protection against cervical pre-cancers associated with HPV 16 or 18.

For the first time Cervarix has been proven to provide significant protection against pre-cancerous lesions beyond HPV types 16 and 18 – approximately 11-16% extra protection against cervical cancer.

Principle investigator, Professor Jorma Paavonen, from the University of Helsinki, said: "The results show Cervarix is highly effective against the most common cervical cancer-causing virus types and has the potential to substantially reduce the incidence of cervical pre-cancers, cervical cancer and the associated diagnostic and surgical procedures. The results re-affirm confidence in vaccination as a primary preventative measure against cervical cancer when used alongside screening.”