Ann Oncol. 2004 Feb;15(2):197-200.

Human papillomavirus vaccine as a new way of preventing cervical cancer: a dream or the future?


Mandic A,Vujkov T.

Institute of Oncology, Sremska Kamenica, Yugoslavia.aljosa. M@eunet.yu

Cervical cancer is the major cause of death in women of reproductive age in parts of the developing world. Thanks to the effectiveness of national screening programs, the incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer have declined dramatically in developed countries. According to many researchers, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has an important role in the development of cervical neoplasm. The effects of HPV infection on the oncogenesis of cervical carcinoma can be explained to a large degree by the regulation and function of the two viral oncogenes, E6 and E7. About 25 of >80 types infect the genital tract. HPV types are stratified into low, intermediate- and high-risk categories. Today, vaccines are available against many serious human pathogens. It is accepted worldwide that cervical carcinoma is a consequence of infection with HPV viruses. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that vaccine that prevents infection will reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Virus-like particles are empty viral capsids, and are the leading candidate vaccines for the treatment or prevention of cervical cancer in humans. The HPV type 16 (HPV16) L1 virus-like particle vaccines have been shown to be generally well tolerated and they generate high levels of antibodies against HPV16. Since approximately 50% of cervical cancers are associated with HPV16 infection, the administration of this type of vaccine to young women could reduce the incidence of HPV16 infection, which is related to cervical dysplasia and cervical neoplasm. Vaccination against HPV infection could reduce the risk of infection and, most importantly, decrease the incidence of cervical cancer. A vaccine for cervical cancer is not a dream in the far future, it is happening today.

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