Human papillomavirus vaccines and prevention of cervical cancer

Annu Rev Med. 2004;55:319-31. doi: 10.1146/


Cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions constitute a major problem in women's health. Every year 470,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed worldwide, and about half the women afflicted will die. In the United States alone, approximately 14,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year despite the availability of screening and access to high-quality gynecological care. With the confirmation that cervical cancer is caused by an infectious agent, human papillomavirus, the possibility of fighting this disease with either prophylactic or therapeutic vaccination arose. This review describes advances in vaccine development and very promising first results for prophylactic vaccination against cervical cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines