Prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against HPV infection

Kontou S, Chaidogiannos K, Trianti M, Salamalekis E

3rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, Attiko hospital, Athens, Greece

Correspondence: Kontou Sofia, 11 Theotoki St, GR-18538, Pireus, Greece


Persistent infection with one of the oncogenic HPV types is necessary for the development of cervical cancer. The role of HPV in cervical carcinogenesis and their immune response have created expectations for prevention. Vaccines based on the induction of neutralizing antibodies against the HPV structural proteins L1 and L2 are termed “prophylactic”. Vaccines based on the induction of cellular immunity directed against cells expressing viral proteins are termed therapeutic and intended to induce regression of HPV associated lesions. Combined or chimeric vaccines are designed to have the ability to both protect against HPV infection and induce regression of HPV associated lesions. The results of all puplished HPV vaccine studies are extremely encouraging. First of all, the results have to be confirmed in larger phase III clinical trials with long-term follow up. The preferred route of vaccine administration, the optimal timing of vaccination, the duration of protection of vaccine-induced immunity, the need of multivalent vaccines are also of major interest for further study.

Keywords: human papilloma virus, vaccination, prophylactic vaccine, therapeutic vaccine, screening, cervical cancer

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