According to Spanish researchers, a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer is found responsible for half of all cases of penile cancers.
The findings suggest that cervical cancer vaccines are likely to be effective to fight against penile cancer.
Penile cancer is much rarer and diagnosed in less than 1% of adult male cancers in Europe and North America. However, the incidence of this specific cancer can be as high as 10% in certain parts of Asia and Africa.
Dr. Silvia de Sanjose and colleagues reviewed cases of penile cancer reported in clinical studies between 1986 and 2008 and found 46.9 percent of tumors were associated with HPV.
Nearly all of these were linked to HPV strains 16 and 18, the two types that most commonly cause cervical cancer and which are targeted by Gardasil and Cervarix.