Background: Infection with human papillomavirus (HPVs) causes many cancers, which
account for about 10-20% of total human cancers. Two recently developed prophylactic vaccines
against virus infection confer strong immunogenicity to provide long-term protection. The use of
these vaccines has contributed to a substantial decrease in the rates of cervical cancer the second
most common cancer of women worldwide. However, therapeutic vaccines that can eliminate preexisting
HPV infections and treat an existing HPV-caused cancer have not been developed.
Method: In this short review, we discuss development of immunotherapy for HPV-associated cancers
and recent progresses in our understanding of the immunopathology of HPV infection.
Results: Recent research advances have shown that molecular approaches target to immunotherapy
for HPV infection-induced cancers to have the great potential and promise for developing immunotherapeutic
vaccines. So far, the vast majority of the immunotherapeutic vaccines that are being
tested are designed to target HPV viral genes and their proteins especially two E6 and E7 oncogenes.
Conclusion: The developing immunotherapeutic vaccines aim to boost cell-mediated immunity.
The boosted cell-mediated immunity strengthens the body’s natural defenses to fight active infection
and disease, thus to treat the existing cancers.