Vaccination Strategies for the Control and Treatment of HPV Infection and HPV-Associated Cancer

Emily Farmer, Max A. Cheng, Chien Fu Hung, T. C. Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, currently affecting close to 80 million Americans. Importantly, HPV infection is recognized as the etiologic factor for numerous cancers, including cervical, vulval, vaginal, penile, anal, and a subset of oropharyngeal cancers. The prevalence of HPV infection and its associated diseases are a significant problem, affecting millions of individuals worldwide. Likewise, the incidence of HPV infection poses a significant burden on individuals and the broader healthcare system. Between 2011 and 2015, there were an estimated 42,700 new cases of HPV-associated cancers each year in the United States alone. Similarly, the global burden of HPV is high, with around 630,000 new cases of HPV-associated cancer occurring each year. In the last decade, a total of three preventive major capsid protein (L1) virus-like particle-based HPV vaccines have been licensed and brought to market as a means to prevent the spread of HPV infection. These prophylactic vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and efficacious in preventing HPV infection. The most recent iteration of the preventive HPV vaccine, a nanovalent, L1-VLP vaccine, protects against a total of nine HPV types (seven high-risk and two low-risk HPV types), including the high-risk types HPV16 and HPV18, which are responsible for causing the majority of HPV-associated cancers. Although current prophylactic HPV vaccines have demonstrated huge success in preventing infection, existing barriers to vaccine acquisition have limited their widespread use, especially in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of HPV-associated diseases is highest. Prophylactic vaccines are unable to provide protection to individuals with existing HPV infections or HPV-associated diseases. Instead, therapeutic HPV vaccines capable of generating T cell-mediated immunity against HPV infection and associated diseases are needed to ameliorate the burden of disease in individuals with existing HPV infection. To generate a cell-mediated immune response against HPV, most therapeutic vaccines target HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7. Several types of therapeutic HPV vaccine candidates have been developed including live-vector, protein, peptide, dendritic cell, and DNA-based vaccines. This chapter will review the commercially available prophylactic HPV vaccines and discuss the recent progress in the development of therapeutic HPV vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRecent Results in Cancer Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRecent Results in Cancer Research
ISSN (Print)0080-0015
ISSN (Electronic)2197-6767


  • Cancer
  • HPV E6
  • HPV E7
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Immunotherapy
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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