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Disease Markers
Volume 23, Issue 4, Pages 337-352
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2007/245146

Therapeutic Vaccination for HPV Induced Cervical Cancers

Joeli A. Brinkman,1 Sarah H. Hughes,2 Pamela Stone,2 Angela S. Caffrey,2 Laila I. Muderspach,2 Lynda D. Roman,2 Jeffrey S. Weber,3 and W. Martin Kast1,4

1Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3Department of Medicine, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
4Department of Molecular Microbiology and Imunology, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Received 20 June 2007; Accepted 20 June 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cervical Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer–related deaths in women worldwide and is associated with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, creating a unique opportunity to treat cervical cancer through anti-viral vaccination. Although a prophylactic vaccine may be available within a year, millions of women, already infected, will continue to suffer from HPV-related disease, emphasizing the need to develop therapeutic vaccination strategies. A majority of clinical trials examining therapeutic vaccination have shown limited efficacy due to examining patients with more advanced-stage cancer who tend to have decreased immune function. Current trends in clinical trials with therapeutic agents examine patients with pre-invasive lesions in order to prevent invasive cervical cancer. However, longer follow-up is necessary to correlate immune responses to lesion regression. Meanwhile, preclinical studies in this field include further exploration of peptide or protein vaccination, and the delivery of HPV antigens in DNA-based vaccines or in viral vectors. As long as pre-clinical studies continue to advance, the prospect of therapeutic vaccination to treat existing lesions seem good in the near future. Positive consequences of therapeutic vaccination would include less disfiguring treatment options and fewer instances of recurrent or progressive lesions leading to a reduction in cervical cancer incidence.