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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2005 Feb;5(1):97-107.

Vaccination strategies for the prevention of cervical cancer.

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University of Cape Town, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Observatory Cape Town 7925, South Africa.


Infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) is an essential step in the multistep process leading to cervical cancer. There are approximately 120 different types of HPV identified: of these, 18 are high-risk types associated with cervical cancer, with HPV-16 being the dominant type in most parts of the world. The major capsid protein of papillomavirus, produced in a number of expression systems, self assembles to form virus-like particles. Virus-like particles are the basis of the first generation of HPV vaccines presently being tested in clinical trials. Virus-like particles are highly immunogenic and afford protection from infection both in animal models and in Phase IIb clinical trials. A number of Phase III trials are in progress to determine if the vaccine will protect against cervical disease and, in some cases, genital warts. However, it is predicted that these vaccines will be too expensive for the developing world, where they are desperately needed. Another problem is that they will be type specific. Novel approaches to the production of virus-like particles in plants, second-generation vaccine approaches including viral and bacterial vaccine vectors and DNA vaccines, as well as different routes of immunization, are also reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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