The introduction of Gardasil, a vaccine against human papillomavirus, represents an important opportunity for primary prevention of HPV disease, including cervical cancers, precancerous lesions and genital warts.
The causal role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical cancer has been firmly established. More than 40 mucosal anogenital HPV types have been identified and at least 15 of these have oncogenic potential, causing nearly all cervical cancers and precancerous lesions. HPV types 16 and 18 account for approximately 70% of cervical cancers and 50% of high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN 2, CIN 3). HPV types 6 and 11, which are two of the low risk types, account for approximately 10% of low grade cervical abnormalities (CIN 1) and 90% of genital warts.