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The results were released early Wednesday, in conjunction with their presentation at a European conference of doctors and researchers specializing in cancer and genital infections.
Merck submitted more detailed data from the women's study to the FDA late in 2009 and expects a ruling by June on whether it may market Gardasil for women aged 27 to 45. The regulatory agency previously turned Merck down, asking for longer-term follow-up on the women; this study followed them for an additional year and a half.
The company plans to submit the data on anal cancer in men to the FDA and apply for approval to market the vaccine for that use at some point, said Merck spokeswoman Pam Eisele.
Gardasil, one of Merck's 10 best-selling products, had sales totaling $1.12 billion in 2009.
Side effects of the vaccine include dizziness and fainting, nausea and vomiting, fever, headache and pain, swelling and itching at the injection site. Gardasil cannot be given to women who are pregnant or anyone with a severe allergy to yeast.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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