Other Talks in the Series: Immunotherapy of Cancer

Other Talks in the Series: Vaccines

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We now will discuss in more detail, cancers caused by human papilloma virus. Here you see, the uterus of a patient and a vagina and the cervix, where this virus strikes to establish itself first in a persistent infection. And after many years the virus can cause premalignant lesions. And after a couple more years, you then develop cancer. In the middle you see the virus. And the yellow structure on this virus indicates the L1 protein. And vaccinating against the L1 protein folded as a virus-like particle induces neutralizing antibodies that are characteristic for the two preventive vaccines that are currently marketed, Cervarix and Guardasil.
HPV causes anogenital and head and neck cancers. More than half of all of these lesions are caused by high-risk HPV16, which causes 75% of vulva preneoplastic premalignant lesions, more than 75% of anal neoplasias, but also more than 75% of oropharyngeal head and neck cancers. In the case of cervical cancer the implication of HPV16 is somewhat lower, but still about 50% of involvement in the causations of cervical cancer and high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, or CIN. And there are unmet medical needs also for the premalignant lesions. VIN, CIN, PIN is penile, and AIN in the US, Europe, and Japan. And currently, even for these premalignant lesions there is no satisfactory treatment, because the surgery is mutilating and there are higher recurrence rates.