Author(s): Rosales R, Rosales C
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Abstract Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a large family of double strand DNA viruses comprising more than 180 types. Infection with HPV is very common and it is associated with benign and malignant proliferation of skin and squamous mucosae. Many HPVs, considered low-risk such as HPV 6 and 11, produce warts; while high-risk viruses, such as HPVs 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, and 58, induce tumors. About 5\% of all cancers in men and women are associated with HPV infection. Because there are not antiviral drugs for HPV infection, current therapies for low-risk HPV infections involve physical removal of the lesion by cryotherapy, trichloracetic acid, laser, or surgical removal. Surgical procedures are effective in the treatment of pre-cancerous lesions, however after these procedures, many recurrences appear due to new re-infections, or to failure of the procedure to eliminate the HPV. In addition, HPV can inhibit recognition of malignant cells by the immune system, leading to the development of cancer lesions. When this occurs, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are then used. Unfortunately, about 50\% of the HPV-cancer patients still die. In the past decade, a better knowledge of the natural history of the virus-host interaction and of the immune response against this viral infection has brought new therapeutic strategies geared to modulate the immune system to generate an efficient virus-specific cytotoxic response. Novel HPV protein-expressing vaccines have shown some significant clinical efficacy and systemic HPV-specific cytotoxic T cell responses. This review will describe the current status of the several therapeutic strategies used to treat HPV-induced lesions, and discuss the various new therapies now being tested.
This article was published in World J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Translational Medicine