GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that efficacy trials for the cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix have shown that the drug is effective at protecting against cervical cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV)types, 16 and 18.

The study,which involved 18,644 women, also showed that the vaccine provides cross-protection against HPV types 31, 33 and 45, the three most common cancer-causing virus types beyond 16 and 18.

GSK Biologicals head of global clinical R&D and chief medical officer Thomas Breuer said that for the first time the results show that this vaccine was effective against cervical pre-cancers associated with the five most common cancer-causing virus types.

“This is really good news for primary prevention of cervical cancer as it indicates the vaccine could offer women additional protection beyond what had at first been anticipated,” Breuer said.