Perspectives for therapeutic HPV vaccine development

Andrew Yang, Emily Farmer, T. C. Wu, Chien Fu Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and associated diseases remain a serious burden worldwide. It is now clear that HPV serves as the etiological factor and biologic carcinogen for HPV-associated lesions and cancers. Although preventative HPV vaccines are available, these vaccines do not induce strong therapeutic effects against established HPV infections and lesions. These concerns create a critical need for the development of therapeutic strategies, such as vaccines, to treat these existing infections and diseases. Main Body: Unlike preventative vaccines, therapeutic vaccines aim to generate cell-mediated immunity. HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7 are responsible for the malignant progression of HPV-associated diseases and are consistently expressed in HPV-associated diseases and cancer lesions; therefore, they serve as ideal targets for the development of therapeutic HPV vaccines. In this review we revisit therapeutic HPV vaccines that utilize this knowledge to treat HPV-associated lesions and cancers, with a focus on the findings of recent therapeutic HPV vaccine clinical trials. Conclusion: Great progress has been made to develop and improve novel therapeutic HPV vaccines to treat existing HPV infections and diseases; however, there is still much work to be done. We believe that therapeutic HPV vaccines have the potential to become a widely available and successful therapy to treat HPV and HPV-associated diseases in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of biomedical science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 4 2016


  • Cervical cancer
  • HPV
  • HPV E6
  • HPV E7
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Therapeutic vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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