Current research into novel therapeutic vaccines against cervical cancer

Marcelo Nazário Cordeiro, Rita de Cássia Pereira De Lima, Francesca Paolini, Alanne Rayssa da Silva Melo, Ana Paula Ferreira Campos, Aldo Venuti, Antonio Carlos De Freitas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Cervical cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) are well-known outcomes of a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Viral oncogenes expressions like E6, E7, and, recently recognized E5, lead to HPV-related malignant progression. Although HPV prevention by powerful vaccines against most frequent and oncogenic genotypes is feasible, current treatment against cervical neoplasia is distant from an ideal one. In addition, late diagnosis is commonly associated with a poor prognosis. On top of that, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgery are less effective in high-grade lesions. Areas covered: Due to their peculiarities, HPV oncogenes represent an excellent target for cancer immunotherapy. Safety, efficacy, and potential immunogenicity are features achieved by DNA vaccines targeting HPV. The literature search has indicated that genetic immunotherapy is becoming a pharmacological tool and therapeutic option against cervical disease, as more and more DNA vaccines are reaching clinical trial phases. Expert commentary: Among some of the promising results, a phase II randomized trial showed a clinical activity of a nucleic acid-based vaccine in HPV16 or HPV18 positive CIN patients. The concept of a synergic combination of anti-HPV DNA vaccines with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, sophisticated delivery methods, immunomodulators or immune adjuvants opens a new and interesting perspective in cervical malignancy treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-376
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2018


  • cervical cancer
  • DNA vaccines
  • HPV
  • Human papillomavirus
  • immunotherapy
  • therapeutic vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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