Scientists from Australia have created a new vaccine against cervical cancer, the development of which is due to the presence of papillomavirus infection. According to a local unit of the Associated Press, the development of the drug, produced by the biotechnology company Coridon, was led by Ian Frazer.
Currently, the vaccines "Gardasil" and "Cervarix" produced by the pharmaceutical companies Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively, are used to prevent cervical cancer that develops against the background of infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The difference between the drug created by Fraser and his colleagues is that it not only protects against HPV infection, but also stimulates an immune response to an already existing infection in the body. The effectiveness of vaccination was confirmed by the results of preclinical studies in animals. Currently, the developers are preparing for clinical trials involving patients.
According to Fraser, many women are already carriers of HPV, so they can not reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by using "Gardasil" or "Cervarix" for vaccination. He also suggested that the mechanism of action of the new drug will be used to create a vaccine against herpesvirus infection.
Oncogenic strains of HPV cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, as well as about 60 percent of cancers of the mouth and pharynx. In most cases, the infection passes with time without any treatment. For the discovery of the role of papillomavirus in the development of cervical cancer, the German scientist Harald zur Hauzen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.