Using what they’ve dubbed a “DNA vaccine,” scientists have developed a new treatment for those already infected with HPV – the virus known to cause cervical cancer.
While a vaccine already exists to prevent the spread of HPV 16 and 18, as well as other strains of HPV that cause genital warts, this unique treatment plan was created to help those already infected. Unlike other forms of treatment which stimulate an immune response by exposing the body to bacterial or viral proteins, this vaccine was developed using DNA.
Using bits of viral DNA that code for a specific protein or antigen, the injection basically tells the host’s body to go into hyper-vigilant mode producing a stronger immune response against the HPV infected cells.
“Globally, you know, there is a large unmet need in terms of large numbers of women and men who go unvaccinated. So the disease burden is there. And our vaccine, if successful, has the potential to address large populations that are HPV-infected,” said Niranjan Sardesai is chief of research and development for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a Pennsylvania company developing the therapeutic vaccine.
(Source: VOA News)