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The Need for Therapeutic HPV Vaccines as a Means of Curbing the Menace of Cervical Cancer

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Body

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.

Conclusion

Therapeutic vaccines that broadly target oncogenic HPV types at an early stage, and that are inexpensive, are urgently required.

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Fig. 1

Abbreviations

APCs:

Antigen-presenting cells

CIN:

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

CTL:

Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte

DALYs:

Disability-adjusted life years

DCs:

Dendritic cells

DsDNA:

Double-stranded DNA

HPV:

Human papillomavirus

HSIL:

High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion

LCR:

Long control region

LSIL:

Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion

MVA:

Modified vaccinia Ankara

MHC:

Major histocompatibility complex

ORFs:

Open reading frames

siRNA:

Small interfering RNA

SLPs:

Synthetic long overlapping peptides

VaIN:

Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia

VIN:

Vulva intraepithelial neoplasia

YLDs:

Years lived with disability

YLLs:

Years of life lost

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Funding

This review received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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Contributions

KI, DU, BJ, YL and AI conceptualize the work. KI, AS, BH, KA, BZ and AI carried out literature search. KI, AI, AS, YL, DU and BJ drafted the work. All authors have approved the manuscript as submitted.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Imam Malik Kabir.

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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

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Keywords

  • Human papillomavirus
  • Prophylactic HPV vaccines
  • Therapeutic HPV vaccines
  • Cervical cancer
  • Oncoproteins