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HPV vaccines – a success story from the bench to the clinic

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Viral infections cause at least 15% of all cancers; one of the most important oncogenic viruses is the human papillomavirus (HPV) a causal agent in 4% of all cancers. The identification of the major oncogenic HPV ’s HPV 16 and HPV 18 by Harald zur Hausen was recognised in 2008 by the award to him of the Nobel Prize in Medicine. The unfolding of the HPV story started in the 1970’s and has resulted in the development of prophylactic vaccines using sophisticated recombinant molecular techniques and protein expression to prevent infection by HPV 16 and 18. These vaccines are now licensed world wide and have been incorporated into national immunisation programmes in several countries The vaccines are remarkably efficacious, generate strong immunity and have a very good safety profile and over the medium to long term should reduce the incidence of cervix cancer and other HPV associated cancers significantly

This talk is part of the HORIZON: Reproductive Health series.

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