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Persistent infection with high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is an essential factor in the development of cervical cancer
and also a contributory factor for vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, head and neck (oropharyngeal) cancers. More than 80%
of these cases occur in developing world. The current prophylactic HPV vaccines provide protection against the -16 and -18
genotypes which are most commonly associated with cervical cancer worldwide. Although the proven efficacy, the introduction
of a vaccination program with these vaccines is a challenge due to their high costs, social barriers and the potential for new
oncogenic strains to emerge. Furthermore, a therapeutic vaccine is needed for women already affected by HPV-related cancer.
In this manner, we have developed a cost effectiveness platform based on Pichia pastoris yeast and non commercial vectors for
production of multiple HPV Virus-like Particles (VLPs) types with prophylactic purposes. In parallel, different DNA vectors
based on epitopes of E5 HPV oncogene were constructed for evaluation of therapeutic strategies through genetic immunization.
The immunological activities of these approaches are now under evaluation in animal models. The development of these platforms
is an important step for establishment of alternatives vaccinal strategies against HPV in the context of financial constraints, lack
of adequate infrastructure and the competing priorities found in the developing countries.
Graduated in Biomedicine from UFPE, Filipe Cola?o Mariz worked for two years (2008 and 2009) as Scientific Initiation fellow in the Laboratory
of Molecular Studies and Experimental Therapy (LEMTE) at the Department of Genetics. Between 2010 and 2011 he has completed his Master ́s
degree in Therapeutic Innovation at the same institution in the field of biotechnology with focus on vaccine strategies against HPV and BPV, and also
worked in the Integral Medicine Institute Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP) at the Biochemistry and Immunology sectors. He is currently doing his PhD
thesis in the LEMTE under the guidance of Dr. Freitas.
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