With one human papillomavirus vaccine on the market and another on the way, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the FDA have several factors to consider in determining whether to extend the vaccine’s use to boys and men.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is expected to discuss use of the vaccine in young men at its next regular meeting and the FDA could make a decision by the end of the year.
Merck officials said at the ACIP meeting in June that they hope that data on Gardasil, approved for use in women since 2006, will convince both the ACIP and the FDA that the vaccine is effective for the prevention of the malignancies that HPV can cause in men, such as penile and anal cancers, and cancers of the mouth and throat.
CDC data indicate that about 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and another 6.2 million people become newly infected each year. Considering only new cases in men believed to be affiliated with HPV, the American Cancer Society expected almost 10,000 new cases of cancer in 2008.
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