Updated at 3.04pm: Hong Kong women may soon be able to benefit from a cervical cancer vaccine, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday. The new vaccine is designed to protect females from two types of sexually-transmitted virus (HPV). This week the vaccine won an FDA advisory panel?s unanimous approval on its safety and effectiveness. The two types of HPV are believed to be responsible for about 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases. Cervical cancer in Hong Kong is the fourth commonest cancer among females and in 2004, 128 women died from the disease. The creator of the vaccine, Australian professor Ian Frazer, told the Australian Associated Press on Friday that a unanimous decision in the US to approve the vaccine was a reflection of the drug?s stunning success. He said he was delighted with the decision. He said it was a reflection on the quality of the data generated from research on the vaccine over the past 15 years. ?This is a vaccine which in several clinical trials done by several different groups has proven 100 per cent effective in preventing, not only the infection that causes cervical cancer, but also the pre-cancer lesions of the disease that need to be treated,? professor Frazer said. He added that the FDA?s approval for the vaccine was essential for it be approved globally. With an annual 288,000 deaths, cervical cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in women after breast cancer worldwide. About 510, 000 cases are reported each year with nearly 80 per cent in developing countries. Health experts agree that the most effective way to combat cervical cancer is to use a Pap smear test to detect it at pre-cancerous stage. In Hong Kong, the government set up a screening campaign two years ago. About 190,000 women have registered in the programme, covering 62 per cent of women in the territory. The incidence rate of the disease in Hong Kong declined steadily in the past two decades, from 24.8 per 100,000 women in 1983 to 8.9 per 100,000 in 2003. But it still lags behind some western countries, like Finland, where there are only 3.9 women getting the cancer in every 100,000 women. The vaccine also protects against two types of HPV, which cause 90 per cent of genital wart cases. The FDA advisory said it was safe and effective for women and for girls as young as nine. The decision took the vaccine a step closer to being released in the market.