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[Human papillomavirus prophylactic vaccines: stakes and perspectives].


Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is established as the necessary cause of cervical precancers and cancers. To date, more than 120 genotypes are known, but only high risk oncogen genotypes could induce a cancer. HPV 16 and 18 are implied in nearly 70% of cervical cancer around the world. Although some persistent HPV infections progress to cervical cancer, host immunity is generally able to clear most HPV infections providing an opportunity for cervical cancer prevention through vaccination. Candidate prophylactic vaccines based on papillomavirus L1 virus-like particles (VLPs) are currently on human clinical trials: one targeting cervical cancer with a bivalent VLP L1 vaccine containing the two genotypes most frequently involved in cervical cancer (type 16 and 18) and the other, protecting against warts as well as cervical cancer, with a quadrivalent HPV VLP L1 vaccine containing genotypes 6, 11, 16 and 18. The first clinical trials revealed the satisfactory tolerance and excellent immunogenicity of these vaccines inducing high serum antibody titers with minimal side effects. After more than three years, both clinical trials on women 15 to 25 years old have shown that vaccines are able to type specifically protect against nearly 90% of infection and all cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia. The vaccinal strategy defined to date targets preadolescents and adolescent young females (11-13 years) before the first sexual course but some questions are still not resolved concerning the prescriber, the actors of the vaccination and the duration of the protection. Nevertheless cervical cancer screening should be carried on for many years, even if a large vaccinal strategy is decided. Such a vaccine would save lives and reduce the need for costly medical procedures and the psychological stress induced by this cancer.


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  • Authors+Show Affiliations


    Laboratoire de bactériologie-virologie-hygiène, CHRU Dupuytren, 2, avenue Martin-Luther-King, 87042 Limoges cedex, France.




    Antibodies, Viral
    Genital Diseases, Female
    Human papillomavirus 16
    Human papillomavirus 18
    Papillomavirus Infections
    Papillomavirus Vaccines
    Precancerous Conditions
    Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
    Viral Vaccines

    Pub Type(s)

    English Abstract
    Journal Article



    PubMed ID