By: Margaret Paul of ABC
Cervical cancer could be almost completely eliminated, research has found, thanks to a new vaccine being reviewed by Australia’s pharmaceutical authority.
A Melbourne-based study, led by the Royal Women’s Hospital and Victorian Cytology Service, looked at nearly 900 samples of cervical cancer, and found the Gardasil vaccine being given to students in their first year of secondary school protects against 77 per cent of them.
The study published in the International Journal of Cancer found the new Gardasil 9 vaccine protected against 93 per cent of cancers.
The lead researcher, Associate Professor Julia Brotherton, said the research was very exciting.
“It’s truly ground-breaking,” she said.
Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee [PBAC] is reviewing how cost-effective the new vaccine is for Australia, and a decision is due later this month.
Professor Brotherton said she expected the committee would consider the research.
“I’m very hopeful that this vaccine will become available to young people in the first year of high school when we give the vaccine, hopefully as early as next year,” she said.
Another benefit to the new vaccine is that it requires fewer injections.
The current vaccine given to young people requires three doses.