By Christian Duffin
Giving young men the quadrivalent HPV vaccine prevents infection from HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 and reduces the incidence of external genital lesions, according to a randomised controlled trial.
Researchers enrolled 4,065 healthy men aged between 16 and 26 years from 18 countries and gave them either 0.5ml injections of a quadrivalent HPV vaccine or a placebo at day one, month two and month six.
In an intention-to-treat population, 36 external genital lesions were noted in men in the vaccine group compared with 89 in the placebo group, equivalent to an observed efficacy of 60.2%. The efficacy was 65.5% for lesions related to HPV-6, 11, 16 or 18.
Injection-site pain was significantly more frequent among patients given the vaccine, at 57%, compared with 51% given placebo.
Lead researcher Dr Anna Guiliano, programme leader at the H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Florida, said: ‘Although the point efficacy estimates for boys and men are numerically lower than those for girls and women in previous studies…the vaccine efficacy may be similar for the two sexes.’
Pharmaceutical company Merck sponsored the study.
N Eng J Med 2011; 364: 401-11
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