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J Virol. 2000 Oct;74(20):9712-6.

DNA vaccination prevents and/or delays carcinoma development of papillomavirus-induced skin papillomas on rabbits.

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  • 1Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Institute, Department of Pathology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.


Malignant progression is a life-threatening consequence of human papillomavirus-associated lesions. In this study, we tested the efficacy of papillomavirus early-gene-based vaccines for prevention of carcinoma development of papillomavirus-induced skin papillomas on rabbits. Rabbit skin papillomas were initiated by infection with cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV). The papillomas were allowed to grow for 3 months without any treatment intervention. Rabbits were then immunized by gene gun-mediated intracutaneous administration of four DNA plasmids encoding CRPV E1, E2, E6, and E7 genes, respectively. All eight control rabbits receiving vector alone developed invasive carcinoma within 8 to 13 months. In contrast, only two of eight vaccinated rabbits developed carcinoma at 12 and 15 months, respectively. Papilloma growth was suppressed in the majority of vaccinated rabbits but not completely eradicated. These results indicate that gene gun-mediated immunization with papillomavirus early genes may be a promising strategy for prevention of malignant progression of human papillomavirus-associated lesions in humans.

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