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    Peer Reviewed

    Vaccine for cervical cancer: reaching adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Biddlecom A; Bankole A; Patterson K

    Lancet. 2006 Apr 22; 367(9519):1299-1300.

    Merck's vaccine for cervical cancer is being reviewed as a priority by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with a ruling due on June 8, and GlaxoSmithKline submitted an application for its vaccine in the European Union on March 9. The issue of how best to introduce these vaccines to young people before they become sexually active is now, therefore, a research priority. Vaccination against cervical cancer is especially important in developing countries, where nearly 80% of cases are reported and where effective methods of diagnosis--such as the Pap smear--are rarely used. Modelling studies indicate that vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) could be effective in preventing cervical cancer provided all adolescents--not just those at high risk--are vaccinated before they become sexually active. The need to reach large numbers of adolescents with a series of three injections is a challenge, however, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. (excerpt)
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