AJTR Copyright © 2009-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Am J Translational Res 2010;2(1):75-87

Review Article
DNA Vaccines for Cervical Cancer

Chien-Fu Hung, Archana Monie, Wei-Hung Weng, T.-C. Wu

Departments of Pathology, Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology,
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA,

Received December 16, 2009; accepted December 19, 2009; available online January 1, 2009

Abstract: Human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly type 16, has been associated with more than 99% of cervical
cancers. There are two HPV oncogenic proteins, E6 and E7, which play a major role in the induction and
maintenance of cellular transformation. Thus, immunotherapy targeting these proteins may be employed for the
control of HPV-associated cervical lesions. Although the commercially available preventive HPV vaccines are
highly efficient in preventing new HPV infection, they do not have therapeutic effect against established HPV
infection or HPV-associated lesions. Since T cell-mediated immunity is important for treating established HPV
infections and HPV-associated lesions, therapeutic HPV vaccine should aim at generating potent E6 and
E7-specific T cell-mediated immune responses. DNA vaccines have now developed into a promising approach
for antigen-specific T cell-mediated immunotherapy to combat infection and cancer. Because dendritic cells are
the most potent professional antigen-presenting cells, and are highly effective in priming antigen-specific T cells,
several DNA vaccines have employed innovative strategies to modify the properties of dendritic cells (DCs) for the
enhancement of the DNA vaccine potency. These studies have revealed impressive pre-clinical data that has led
to several ongoing HPV DNA vaccine clinical trials.(AJTR912004).

Key words: Human papillomavirus, cervical cancer, DNA vaccines

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Address all correspondence to:
T-C Wu, MD, PhD
Department of Pathology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Cancer Research Building II Room 309
1550 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD 21231.
Tel: (410) 614-3899; Fax: (443) 287-4295
E-mail:
wutc@jhmi.edu.