New researches showed that HPV vaccine, which protects against the virus that causes cervical cancer, partially blocks infection by another 10 strains of the virus on top of the four types known before. This means that the vaccine protects from up 90 % of strains causing the deadly cancer.

This is the first evidence of any vaccine providing cross-protection against other strains of the human papilloma virus, or HPV. This finding is very likely to lead to more widespread use of Gardasil (the vaccine) in developing countries where women rarely get Pap smears to detect early cancers and where there are some of the additional strains present.

Currently, Gardasil is the only cervical cancer vaccine being sold in 85 countries and pending approval in another 40 more. With over 60 strains of the HPV virus, 15 are thought to cause cervical cancer and Gardasil is designed to protect from 12 of the cancerous ones, plus another two that cause genital warts but not cancer.

Two strains of the virus cause 70 % of cervical cancer and Gardasil has been found to be 99 % effective in blocking those strains.

Analysis of North America data showed the vaccine reduced incidence of HPV-caused precancerous lesions by nearly two-thirds for the three next most common HPV strains in North America. While those three strains are less common elsewhere, together they cause about 11 percent of cervical cancer worldwide.

Researchers and other health experts expected Gardasil to provide some protection against HPV strains but not as much as the data shows and this is why they will put their efforts to introducing it more broadly around the world.