Therapeutic Vaccine Strategies against Human Papillomavirus

Vaccines (Basel). 2014 Jun 13;2(2):422-62. doi: 10.3390/vaccines2020422.


High-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause over 500,000 cervical, anogenital and oropharyngeal cancer cases per year. The transforming potential of HPVs is mediated by viral oncoproteins. These are essential for the induction and maintenance of the malignant phenotype. Thus, HPV-mediated malignancies pose the unique opportunity in cancer vaccination to target immunologically foreign epitopes. Therapeutic HPV vaccination is therefore an ideal scenario for proof-of-concept studies of cancer immunotherapy. This is reflected by the fact that a multitude of approaches has been utilized in therapeutic HPV vaccination design: protein and peptide vaccination, DNA vaccination, nanoparticle- and cell-based vaccines, and live viral and bacterial vectors. This review provides a comprehensive overview of completed and ongoing clinical trials in therapeutic HPV vaccination (summarized in tables), and also highlights selected promising preclinical studies. Special emphasis is given to adjuvant science and the potential impact of novel developments in vaccinology research, such as combination therapies to overcome tumor immune suppression, the use of novel materials and mouse models, as well as systems vaccinology and immunogenetics approaches.

Keywords: DNA vaccination; T helper cells (Th); adjuvants; cancer immunotherapy; cervical cancer; cytotoxic T cells (CTL); dendritic cell (DC) vaccination; epitopes; human papillomavirus (HPV); nanoparticles (NPs); peptide vaccination; therapeutic vaccination; vector-based vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review