By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: July 23, 2010
Reviewed by Barry S. Zingman, MD; Professor of Clinical Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner
VIENNA — A quadrivalent vaccine against four strains of human papillomavirus was highly effective at reducing external genital lesions in men, a researcher said here.
The vaccine was also effective at reducing the incidence of pre-cancerous lesions in the anal region among the study sub-population of men who have sex with men, according to Heiko Jessen, MD, of Praxis, a private medical clinic in Berlin.
The vaccine — Gardasil, aimed at strains 6, 11, 16, and 18 — also effectively reduced the risk of persistent infection with the same strain over time in all study participants, Jessen said at the International AIDS Conference here.
The findings come from a large international randomized placebo-controlled trial that involved 4,065 men, including 3,463 heterosexuals and 602 who reported having sex with men. They were given three doses of the drug or placebo – one at the start of the trial, and again at two and six months – and followed for 36 months.
The vaccine is approved for use in women and girls, with the intention of reducing the incidence of the four strains, which have been linked to cervical cancer. But the four strains have also been associated with disease in men, including such things as anal and penile cancer, anal and penile intraepithelial neoplasia, and anogenital warts, Jessen said.
Jessen did not report study support or any potential conflicts. One of the authors is an employee of Merck & Co, which makes the vaccine.
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