Human papillomavirus vaccines

  • Macit Arvas
  • Altay Gezer

Received Date: Accepted Date: 30.08.2006 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 2006;7(3):250-255

The current strategy for prevention of cervical cancer depends on the screening and early treatment of the precancerous lesions. There is a significant amount of epidemiological and molecular scientific evidence that prove HPV is the major causative agent for the cervical cancer. As a result, the studies on developing vaccines to prevent HPV infections and cervical cancer have increased. The vaccines for HPV are prophylactic or therapeutic. The prophylactic vaccines are for protecting healthy women to be infected by the virus. The therapeutic vaccines aim to regress the precancerous lesions. It is obligatory to admit that the success with the prophylactic vaccines is far beyond with the therapeutic vaccines. Up to date, three randomized phase 2 and 3 HPV VLP vaccine studies were completed. The studies agreed on the high tolerability and immunogenicity of the VLP vaccines. The vaccines were effective to protect against persistent HPV infections and related clinical disease. The results for the prospect of cervical cancer eradication will be available after 20 years of population based vaccination programs. The studies and their results indicate the beginning of an era with the hope of cervical cancer eradication. Some characteristics of the HPV and the novelty of the issue of ‘vaccination against cancer’ reveal too many questions to be answered on the HPV vaccines.

Keywords: HPV, cervical cancer, vaccine, prophylaxis