FDA approves vaccine for HPV in boys, young men

October 29, 2009

The FDA has approved a human papillomavirus vaccine (Gardasil) for use in boys and young men.

The FDA has approved a human papillomavirus vaccine (Gardasil) for use in boys and young men.

The recombinant vaccine (Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent [Types 6, 11, 16, and 18]) is approved for use in boys and men 9 to 26 years of age for the prevention of genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6 and 11.

The vaccine helps protect against the four types of HPV-specifically, types 6, 11, 16, and 18-that cause the most disease, according to Merck, its manufacturer. It is estimated that HPV types 16 and 18 account for 70% of cervical and vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases. Types 6 and 11 cause approximately 90% of all genital warts cases.

"Nearly 17,000 new cases of genital HPV infection, of any type, occur each day in the United States, in both males and females," said Anna Giuliano, PhD, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL. "While most of these HPV infections clear on their own, this year alone, it is estimated that one million people in the United States will develop genital warts, which can cause discomfort and be distressing. Some resolve without treatment; but, for those that require treatment, warts recur in at least 25% of cases."