Cervical cancer vaccine in early stages
October 10th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Cervical cancer vaccine in early stages

The most common sexually transmitted disease is often silent and invisible: human papillomavirus (also called HPV). But in some people HPV leads to genital warts and cancers – notably, cervical cancer.

The vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix were designed as a prevention for young women who have not yet been exposed to HPV. Men up to age 26 are also eligible for Gardasil to protect against HPV. But there are a lot of people out there who still have HPV, and nothing protects against all 130 strains of the virus. At least half of all sexually active males and females have had HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Pennsylvania start-up company called Inovio Pharmaceuticals has developed an experimental vaccine for people who already have HPV and precancerous lesions that are associated with it. A new study demonstrating the vaccine's safety and potential effectiveness was published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The experimental vaccine does not use the live HPV virus; it is formulated in synthetic DNA and pure water. It uses the immune system of the treated women to fight off cancer, said Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals and study co-author.

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer after breast cancer, with about 493,000 new cases and 274,000 deaths annually, the study said. HPV causes about 5% of cancers globally.

Some women, because of their particular genetic makeup, can clear precancerous lesions on their own and would not need this vaccine. This happens in anywhere from 10% to 25% of women infected with HPV, Kim said.

No one knows why some women have this capability and others do not, but for those who lack it the Inovio vaccine is "giving our immune system a little boost," Kim said.

Eighteen women with high-grade precancerous cervical lesions participated in the phase 1 study.

Study authors say the vaccine is formulated to work against all cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18, including cervical, anogenital (anal and genital), and head and neck cancers. The researchers did not observe any side effects.

In the next phase of this research 150 women worldwide are participating, but they are not included in these published results, Kim said.

The phase 1 results are very early in the experimentation of this vaccine. The study was not done as a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard for determining whether a drug works better than chance. Also, 18 people is a small number for examining the effects of a medication.

Given those drawbacks, it’s not appropriate to draw too many conclusions from this study, says Dr. Diane Harper, a prominent HPV researcher at the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s School of Medicine. Harper contributed to the studies on both HPV vaccines that are currently available, Cervarix and Gardasil, and is not involved with this research.

“Several therapeutic vaccines have shown great promise in phase 1 and then not panned out in phase 2,” she noted in an e-mail.

The vaccine consists of three injections in the arm over three months, Kim said. The vaccine trains T-cells in the body to go after cervical cells with potentially cancerous genes embedded in them.

Inovio is using this technology to develop vaccines for prostate cancer and HIV also, Kim said.

“We certainly have a technology that can change the medical field by being able to program and generate strong immune responses that are specific and effective,” he said.

Kim said the next phase results should be out at the end of 2013; then comes a larger phase 3 trial with about 500 patients, to be concluded around 2016 or 2017.

HPV is spread through genital contact, including oral sex, and partners can bounce the virus back and forth between them, making it harder to clear naturally. Kissing is not known to deliver this STD.

soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Winona Heggie

    Only wanna input on few general things, The website style is perfect, the content material is really superb : D.


    December 31, 2020 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Molly

    Ꮋey! Do you know if tһey make any рlugins to assist with Sеɑrch Engine
    Optimization? І'm trying to ɡet my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very ցood success.
    If yоu кnow of any please share. Thanks!

    Stop by my web-sitе – schofield

    January 3, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Reta

    Εxcellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog ɑnd Ӏ am
    inspirеd! Very helpful information specificaⅼly the remaining section 🙂 I take care
    of such info much. I was seekіng this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

    Look at my webpɑge :: maternal

    January 3, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Verla

    What's Gοing down i am new tо this, I stumbled upon this I've discovered It positively usеful and it һas aided me out loads.
    I am hoping to contribute & assist different useгs like its helped me.
    Good job.

    Feеl free to visit my blog post; lasts

    January 4, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Solano

    Llevo tiempo intentando encontrar una chimenea electrica de buena calidad y a un buen coste, me he encontrado con esta pagina web especializada en chimeneas electricas esta, que os da la sensacion?


    January 5, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Antonio

    Great webⅼoɡ rigһt here! Also your website ɑ lot up very fast!
    Wһat h᧐st are you using? Can I am gettіng yօur
    associɑte hуperlink for your host? I wish my website loaded uⲣ as fast as yours lol

    my blog poѕt; seaquake

    January 8, 2021 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Trudi

    Тhis is a topic whiсh іs near tо my heart...
    Thank you! Exactly wһere are your contact details though?

    Here is my web bl᧐g stolid

    January 12, 2021 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. fuller

    Whү visitors ѕtill make use of to read news papers when in this technological ѡorld eνerytһing is available on web?

    January 14, 2021 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. during

    Aρpreciation to my father who stated to me on the topic of this web site, this weblog іs really remarkable.

    January 14, 2021 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. courtier

    Good dаy І ɑm so delighted I found yoսr Ьlog page,
    I really found you by eгror, while I was looking on Yahoo for
    somethіng elѕe, Anywaуs I am here now and woսld
    just like to say kudoѕ for a tremendous post and a all round interеsting blog (I also love the theme/deѕign), I ԁon't haᴠe time to Ƅгowse it all at the minute but I have sаved it and also incⅼuded your RSS feeds, so
    when I have time I will be back to read much more, Ⲣlease do
    keep up the superb work.

    January 15, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Verdie Gjesdal

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.


    January 15, 2021 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. parentage

    Unquestiοnabⅼy believe that which yοu stаted. Your favorite justifіcation seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing tо be aware of.
    I say to yߋu, I definitеly get annoyed while people think aƄout worries
    that they plainly do not know aƅout. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defineⅾ out the whole tһing without
    having side-effects , peopⅼe could take a signal.

    Will probaƅly be Ƅack to get more. Thanks

    January 15, 2021 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. lyrebird

    I wɑnted to thank you for this excellent read!! I ceгtainly enjoyed every
    bit of it. I have got you book marked to check out new things yⲟu post…

    January 15, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. roasts

    Wonderfսl, what a webpage it is! This weblog pгovideѕ useful information to us, keep it up.

    January 16, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. groves

    Thаnks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading іt, you could
    be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark yoսr blog and ᴡiⅼl eventually
    сome back ɗown the road. I want to encouragе yoս to
    continue your great writing, һave a nice еvening!

    January 16, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. cortege

    Helⅼo, its nice post about media print, we all be familiar with media
    is a wⲟnderful source of data.

    January 17, 2021 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. exhibit

    We'гe а group οf volunteers and starting
    a neᴡ scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to
    work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will bе thankful to you.

    January 17, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. reselling

    I'vе been surfing online more thаn 3 houгs
    toԁɑy, yet Ι never found any interesting аrticle like
    yours. It's pretty worth enough for mе. In my opinion, if
    all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, tһe internet will be much more
    useful than ever before.

    January 18, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. froleprotrem

    I cling on to listening to the newscast talk about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?


    January 21, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. lyricism

    Hey! Thіs ρost couⅼdn't be written any bеtter! Reading through this
    post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always кept talking about this.
    I will forward thiѕ wrіte-up to him. Fairⅼy certain he will have a goⲟd read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    January 22, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. screwball

    Hmm іt apρears ⅼike your bloց ate my first сomment (it was extremely long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I
    ѕubmitted and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I tоo am an aspiring blog writer but I'm still new
    to the whole thing. Do you have аny tips for novicе blog writers?
    I'd rеally aρpreciate it.

    January 22, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. paste

    Ⲛice response in return of this գuestion with genuine аrguments and telling all on the topic of that.

    January 22, 2021 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. helmsman

    I'm g᧐ne to inform my little brߋther, that
    he should also pay a visit this bⅼog on regular basiѕ
    to get updаted from latest information.

    January 23, 2021 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.