GlaxoSmithKline's bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix has shown efficacy against anal cancer in a new study.
An investigation led by US scientists and published in The Lancet has found that the drug can offer protection against HPV infections that lead to anal cancer.
The product was shown to offer particularly significant efficacy among patients who received the vaccine before exposure to the virus, which could be important both for women and homosexual males.
Cervarix is already commonly used as a routine vaccination treatment for girls against cervical cancer, targeting HPV types 16 and 18, while anal cancer is an increasingly common condition that is twice as likely to target females as males.
Diane Harper and Stephen Vierthaler from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine said: "The additional protection against four oncogenic anal HPV types in women increases their benefits from vaccination."
Earlier this month, positive data was reported from a trial of GlaxoSmithKline and Impax Pharmaceuticals' new compound IPX066, which is intended for use against Parkinson's disease.