Researchers say thousands of lives could be saved by a vaccine which cuts the chances of contracting one of the most common cancers in women, cervical cancer.

Dr. Diane Harper of Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire says the vaccine, known as Cervarix, could prevent 70 percent of all cervical cancer worldwide by preventing persistent infections that can lead to the disease.

Dr. Harper tested the vaccine, developed by drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline, on 1,113 women in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

She reported her findings in the latest issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, but she sees larger trials of the vaccine are needed.

Cervical cancer kills at least 250,000 women each year worldwide.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.