Immunotherapy for human papillomavirus-associated disease and cervical cancer: Review of clinical and translational research

Sung Jong Lee, Andrew Yang, T. C. Wu, Chien Fu Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cervical cancer is the fourth most lethal women’s cancer worldwide. Current treatments against cervical cancer include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and anti-angiogenic agents. However, despite the various treatments utilized for the treatment of cervical cancer, its disease burden remains a global issue. Persistent infection of human papillomavirus (HPV) has been identified as an essential step of pathogenesis of cervical cancer and many other cancers, and nation-wide HPV screening as well as preventative HPV vaccination program have been introduced globally. However, even though the commercially available prophylactic HPV vaccines, Gardasil (Merck) and Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline), are effective in blocking the entry of HPV into the epithelium of cervix through generation of HPVspecific neutralizing antibodies, they cannot eliminate the pre-existing HPV infection. For these reason, other immunotherapeutic options against HPV-associated diseases, including therapeutic vaccines, have been continuously explored. Therapeutic HPV vaccines enhance cell-mediated immunity targeting HPV E6 and E7 antigens by modulating primarily dendritic cells and cytotoxic T lymphocyte. Our review will cover various therapeutic vaccines in development for the treatment of HPV-associated lesions and cancers. Furthermore, we will discuss the potential of immune checkpoint inhibitors that have recently been adopted and tested for their treatment efficacy against HPV-induced cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51
JournalJournal of Gynecologic Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Human Papillomavirus
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor
  • Immunotherapy
  • Therapeutics
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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