The FDA has approved the vaccine Gardasil for the prevention of anal cancer and associated precancerous lesions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16, and 18, for males and females aged 9 through 26 years.

HPV is associated with approximately 90% of all cases of anal cancer. Although uncommon in the general population, anal cancer incidence is on the rise: According to American Cancer Society estimates cited by the FDA, approximately 5,300 new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, more often in women than in men (www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm237941.htm).

Gardasil (www.gardasil.com) is already in use for females aged 9 through 26 years for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers and associated precancerous lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. In addition, it is approved for the prevention of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11 in both males and females in that age group.