Vaccine to Prevent Cervical Cancer Is Effective
Researchers announced last week that an experimental vaccine, developed by Merck, was highly effective in preventing infections by two strains of the virus that causes cervical cancer.
Women who received the vaccine during a 2-year study were protected against precancerous lesions caused by two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV).
"The findings are dramatic and clear cut," says Dr. Douglas Lowy of NCI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR), who co-developed the original technology on which the vaccine is based. "In the first year and a half after the vaccinations, there was apparently complete protection against lesions caused by the two strains in the vaccine." Read more
Guest Update by Dr. John E. Niederhuber
Sustaining the Momentum
As many readers of the NCI Cancer Bulletin now know, I was recently named by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to oversee day-to-day operations of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) while Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach serves as interim commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The transition to this position was certainly made much easier by the close working relationship I have had with NCI's leadership and staff over the last 4 years, during which time I served as chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board and also was part of several other NCI committees.
While surprise and adjustment may be the best way to describe the last 2 weeks, the adjustments needed in day-to-day operations have been relatively minor. Much of the credit goes to Dr. von Eschenbach's selection of truly outstanding individuals to be part of his immediate staff at NCI and to two very special leaders, Drs. Anna Barker and Mark Clanton, who have worked alongside Dr. von Eschenbach for almost his entire tenure at NCI. Working together, we have adapted our roles to ensure that daily operations at NCI have moved along in a nearly seamless fashion. Even more importantly, Drs. Clanton, Barker, and I are committed to maintaining and accelerating progress toward the 2015 goal. The strategic planning to meet this goal was already completed and ours is the task of implementation. Needless to say, I am extremely honored to be part of this outstanding team. Read more