One of the leading causes of sexually transmitted diseases and other mucosal and epithelial-associated diseases is human papillomavirus, especially type 16 and 18. African women with normal cytology have been reported to have the highest prevalence of HPV and also higher tendency of developing invasive cervical cancer due to certain sociocultural and economic factors. Despite this, a cost-effective therapy (vaccine) for human papillomavirus is yet to be produced.
HPV vaccination (with prophylactic HPV vaccines) is targeted towards preventing infection, but the public health goal is preventing cervical cancer. However, these vaccines had been found not to be effective in eliminating pre-existing lesions, not effective in clearing established HPV infections, and are very expensive especially in low-income countries; thus, the need for therapeutic HPV vaccines that are geared towards preventing low-grade lesion from progressing, controlling the spread of metastatic cancer, regressing existing lesion and finally preventing recurrence of cancer following treatment is highly sought.
Therapeutic vaccines that broadly target oncogenic HPV types at an early stage, and that are inexpensive, are urgently required.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
Disability-adjusted life years
High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
Long control region
Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
Modified vaccinia Ankara
Major histocompatibility complex
Open reading frames
Small interfering RNA
Synthetic long overlapping peptides
Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
Vulva intraepithelial neoplasia
Years lived with disability
Years of life lost
Fernandes JV, Meissner RV, de Carvalho MG, Fernandes TAAM, de Azevedo PR, Villa LL. Prevalence of HPV infection by cervical cytologic status in Brazil. Int J Gynaecol Obs. 2009;105(1):2124.
Burd EM. Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. Clin Microbiology Rev. 2003;16(1):1–17.
De Sanjosé S, Diaz M, Castellsagué X, et al. Worldwide prevalence and genotype distribution of cervical human papillomavirus DNA in women with normal cytology: a meta-analysis. The Lancet infect dis. 2007;7(7):453–9.
Bayo S, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S, et al. Risk factors of invasive cervical cancer in Mali. Int J Epidemiol. 2002;31(1):202–9.
Thomas JO, Herrero R, Omigbodun AA, et al. Prevalence of papillomavirus infection in women in Ibadan, Nigeria: a population-based study. Br J Cancer. 2004;90(3):638–45.
Gage JC, Ajenifuja KO, Wentzensen NA, et al. The age-specific prevalence of human papillomavirus and risk of cytologic abnormalities in rural Nigeria: Implications for screen-and-treat strategies. Int J cancer. 2012;130(9):2111–7.
Fadahunsi OO, Omoniyi-Esan GO, Banjo AAF, et al. Prevalence of high risk oncogenic human papillomavirus types in cervical smears of women attending well woman clinic in Ile Ife Nigeria. Gynecol Obstet. 2013;3(6):185.
Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide. IARCCancerBase. 2013; 11.
Bernard HU, Burk RD, Chen Z, van Doorslaer K, Hausen H, de Villiers EM. Classification of papillomavirus (PVs) based on 189 HPV types and proposal of taxonomic amendments. Virology. 2010;401:70–9.
Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S, Castellsagué X. HPV and genital cancer: the essential epidemiology. Vaccine Prev Cerv Cancer. 2008;12:18–22.
Stanley MA. Pathology and epidemiology of HPV infection in females. Gynecol Oncol. 2010;117(2):5–10.
Conway MJ, Meyers C. Replication and assembly of human papillomaviruses. J Dental Res. 2009;88(4):307–17.
Jo H, Kim JW. Implications of HPV infection in uterine cervical cancer. Cancer Therapy. 2005;3:419–34.
Nath AK, Thappa DM. Vaccines for human papillomavirus infection: A critical analysis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2009;75:245–54.
Koutsky LA, Ault KA, Wheeler CM, et al. A controlled trial of a human papillomavirus type 16 vaccine. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:1645–51.
Paavonen J, Jenkins D, Bosch FX, et al. Efficacy of a prophylactic adjuvanted bivalent L1 virus-like-particle vaccine against infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: An interim analysis of a phase III double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2007;369:2161–70.
Harper DM, Franco EL, Wheeler CM, et al. Sustained efficacy up to 4.5 years of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine against human papillomavirus types 16 and 18: Follow-up from a randomised control trial. Lancet. 2006;367:1247–55.
Tay EH, Garland S, Tang G, et al. Clinical trial experience with prophylactic HPV 6/11/16/18 VLP vaccine in young women from the Asia-Pacific region. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2008;102:275–83.
Villa LL, Costa RL, Petta CA, et al. Prophylactic quadrivalent human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 virus-like particle vaccine in young women: A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre phase II efficacy trial. Lancet Oncol. 2005;6:271–8.
Yusuf L, Bala JA, Aliyu IA, et al. Phytotherapy as an alternative for the treatment of human papillomavirus infections in Nigeria: a review. Afr J Clin Exper Microbiol. 2020;21(3):175–84.
World Health Organization. Human papillomavirus vaccines WHO position paper. Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 2009;84(15):118–31.
Hildesheim A, Gonzalez P, Kreimer AR, et al. Impact of human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and 18 vaccination on prevalent infections and rates of cervical lesions after excisional treatment. Am J Obst Gynecol. 2016;215(2):212.e1-212.e15.
Kash N, Lee MA, Kollipara R, Downing C, Guidry J, Tyring SK. Safety and efficacy data on vaccines and immunization to human papillomavirus. J Clin Med. 2015;4(4):614–33.
Duggan-Keen MF, Brown M, Stacey SN, Stern PL. Papillomavirus vaccines. Front Biosci. 1998;3:1192–208.
Lowy DR, Schiller JT. Papillomaviruses and cervical cancer: pathogenesis and vaccine development. J Nat Can Inst Mon. 1998;23:27–30.
Brun JL, Dalstein V, Leveque J, et al. Regression of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia with TG4001 targeted immunotherapy. Am J Obst and Gynecol. 2011;204(2):69.
Doorbar J. Model systems of human papillomavirus-associated disease. J Path. 2016;238(2):166–79.
Borysiewicz LK, Fiander A, Nimako M, et al. A recombinant vaccinia virus encoding human papillomavirus types 16 and 18, E6 and E7 proteins as immunotherapy for cervical cancer. Lancet. 1996;347(9014):1523–7.
Yang A, Farmer E, Wu TC, Hung C. Perspectives for therapeutic HPV vaccine development. J Biomed Sci. 2016;23:75.
Maciag PC, Radulovic S, Rothman J. The first clinical use of a live-attenuated listeria monocytogenes vaccine: a phase I safety study of Lm-LLO-E7 in patients with advanced carcinoma of the cervix. Vaccine. 2009;27(30):3975–83.
Lin K, Doolan K, Hung CF, Wu TC. Perspectives for preventive and therapeutic HPV vaccines. J Formosan Med Ass. 2010;109(1):4–24.
Coleman HN, Greenfield WW, Stratton SL, et al. Human papillomavirus type 16 viral load is decreased following a therapeutic vaccination. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016;65(5):563–73.
van Poelgeest MI, Welters MJ, van Esch EM, et al. HPV16 synthetic long peptide (HPV16-SLP) vaccination therapy of patients with advanced or recurrent HPV16-induced gynecological carcinoma, a phase II trial. J Transl Med. 2013;11(1):88.
Chabedaa A, Romana J, Yaneza R, et al. Therapeutic vaccines for high-risk HPV-associated diseases. Papillomavirus Re. 2018;5:46–58.
Su JH, Wu A, Scotney E, et al. Immunotherapy for cervical cancer: research status and clinical potential. BioDrugs. 2010;24(2):109–29.
Lee SJ, Yang A, Wu TC, Hung CF. Immunotherapy for human papillomavirus associated disease and cervical cancer: review of clinical and translational research. J Gynecol Oncol. 2016;27(5):e51.
Dupuis M, Denis-Mize K, Woo C, et al. Distribution of DNA vaccines determines their immunogenicity after intramuscular injection in mice. J Immunol. 2000;165(5):2850–8.
Kim TJ, Jin HT, Hur SY, et al. Clearance of persistent HPV infection and cervical lesion by therapeutic DNA vaccine in CIN3 patients. Nat Commun. 2014;30(5):5317.
Kim KW, Hung CF, Juang J, et al. Enhancement of suicidal DNA vaccine potency by delaying suicidal DNA-induced cell death. Gene Ther. 2004;11(3):336–42.
Kim JH, Kang TH, Noh KH, et al. Enhancement of dendritic cell-based vaccine potency by anti-apoptotic siRNAs targeting key pro-apoptotic proteins in cytotoxic CD8(+) T cell mediated cell death. Immunol Letters. 2009;122(1):58–67.
Santin AD, Bellone S, Palmieri M, et al. Human papillomavirus type 16 and 18 E7-pulsed dendritic cell vaccination of stage IB or IIA cervical cancer patients: a phase I escalating-dose trial. J Virology. 2008;82(4):1968–79.
This review received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Conflict or interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Kabir, I.M., Dutsinma, U.A., Bala, J.A. et al. The Need for Therapeutic HPV Vaccines as a Means of Curbing the Menace of Cervical Cancer. Indian J Gynecol Oncolog 19, 96 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40944-021-00590-0
- Human papillomavirus
- Prophylactic HPV vaccines
- Therapeutic HPV vaccines
- Cervical cancer