Plant-derived natural compounds in genetic vaccination and therapy for HPV-associated cancers

Rosella Franconi, Silvia Massa, Francesca Paolini, Patrizia Vici, Aldo Venuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antigen-specific immunotherapy and, in particular, DNA vaccination provides an established approach for tackling human papillomavirus (HPV) cancers at different stages. DNA vaccines are stable and have a cost-effective production. Their intrinsic low immunogenicity has been improved by several strategies with some success, including fusion of HPV antigens with plant gene sequences. Another approach for the control of HPV cancers is the use of natural immunomodulatory agents like those derived from plants, that are able to interfere in carcinogenesis by modulating many different cellular pathways and, in some instances, to reduce chemo- and radiotherapy resistance of tumors. Indeed, plant-derived compounds represent, in many cases, an abundantly available, cost-effective source of molecules that can be either harvested directly in nature or obtained from plant cell cultures. In this review, an overview of the most relevant data reported in literature on the use of plant natural compounds and genetic vaccines that include plant-derived sequences against HPV tumors is provided. The purpose is also to highlight the still under-explored potential of multimodal treatments implying DNA vaccination along with plant-derived agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3101
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Chimeric vaccine
  • Combined DNA vaccine/plant molecule therapy
  • DNA vaccination
  • HPV-related tumors
  • Immunomodulation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Multimodal treatments
  • Plant molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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