The current status of therapeutic HPV vaccine

Ann Med. 1996 Dec;28(6):471-7. doi: 10.3109/07853899608999110.


Cervical carcinoma is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide. Recurrences occur in 15% of the patients after optimal treatment of low-risk early-stage disease. Treatment results of recurrent disease are relatively poor and for this reason new therapeutic strategies are warranted. Viral infection with human papillomavirus seems to have an essential part in the aetiology of cervical carcinoma. Evidence for the assumption that cervical carcinoma, among other malignancies such as melanomas, renal malignancies and Kaposi sarcoma, are immunogenic is provided by the fact that these malignancies grow more rapidly in the presence of systemic immunosuppression. Spontaneous regression for these tumour types is also described and immunohistochemical studies show extensive infiltrates in the tumour, consisting of immunocompetent cells. It is thus postulated that cellular immunity, and mainly the T-cell system plays an important role in the antitumour defence in cervical carcinoma. This review describes the rationale for the use of immunotherapy as treatment for cervical carcinoma as well as the results of recent developments in tumour immunology and its implications for the clinical use of immunotherapeutical approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications
  • Tumor Virus Infections / therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / etiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines
  • Viral Vaccines