In a medical breakthrough of events, we now have news that a new experimental immune-based vaccine will be able to clear human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV.
The experimental vaccine is therapeutic and is called Tipakkinogen Sovacievec (TS) and injects a specific protein. The protein triggers a response in the immune system to attack high-risk HPV types that can cause almost all cervical cancer precursors, known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)
HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection and can cause warts in the body. The research team claims that the vaccine is capable of eliminating both precancerous skin growth in the cervix and underlying HPV infection in one-third of women who participated in the clinical trial. The entire report on the study was published in the journal, Gynecologic Oncology.
“There are few products trying to cure women with an HPV infection,” said Diane Harper, a professor at the University of Michigan. “It’s exciting. This is the first time we’ve seen something with this success rate and that is relatively easy to implement,” Harper said.
The trial saw participation of 192 women with precancerous skin growths, randomising 129 to receive the vaccine and 63, placebo,
Every week, women were ingested with three shots on the thighs. After six months, they were treated with standard surgical procedures to remove tissue, which was examined. 15-36% of those who were vaccinated saw more severe precancerous skin growths eliminated. But the same wasn’t observed in the placebo group.
While “the surgical procedure removes all the tissue that is headed towards cancer, it does not remove all the HPV. You still have HPV”, Harper said, adding the new vaccine “actually treats the cause of the disease, which is HPV”.
The researchers envision testing TS for several other types of cancer, including head, neck and anal cancer, that are linked to HPV.