Nucleic acid vaccines for human papillomavirus; prevention or treatment

Document Type : Review Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, School of Basic Sciences, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 M.Sc. student of Molecular and Cellular Biology, School of Basic Sciences, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran.


Introduction: Cervical cancer is the fourth common cancer among women. In almost all cases of this cancer, infection to a high risk human papilloma virus (HPV) especially type 16 and 18 is observed. HPV is also the cause of other cancers such as oropharyngeal, anorectal and skin. This study was performed with aim to evaluate the vaccines available or under investigation to prevent or treat HPV infection.
Methods: In this review study, the keywords of HPV, cervix cancer, DNA vaccine, RNA vaccine, and prevention or treatment of HPV infections were searched in databases of PubMed, Science direct, Scopus and Google Scholar from 2000 to 2018. The recent articles published in English Q1 journals were selected, and the articles with incomplete or irrelevant data were excluded from the study. 
Results: Despite the available vaccines to prevent HPV infection, ongoing research is continued to develop assorted vaccines against it, because available vaccines don’t prevent all high risk types of HPV; also they are not effective on those who are already infected and have HPV associated malignancies or cancer. Nucleic acid based (DNA or RNA) vaccines are of promising approaches.
Conclusion:Nucleic acid vaccines have promising outcomes due to safety, stability, simplicity of providing and ability to induce antigen-specific immunity. Currently, GX-188E, VGX-3100, ZNF–603 and ZNF -758 vaccines are successfully passing clinical trials based on E6 and E7 genes of HPV. These vaccines caused hopes for a vaccine to treat those who are already infected or have cancer.


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