Therapeutic DNA Vaccines for Human Papillomavirus and Associated Diseases

Max A. Cheng, Emily Farmer, Claire Huang, John Lin, Chien Fu Hung, T. C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Human papillomavirus (HPV) has long been recognized as the causative agent of cervical cancer. High-risk HPV types 16 and 18 alone are responsible for over 70% of all cases of cervical cancers. More recently, HPV has been identified as an etiological factor for several other forms of cancers, including oropharyngeal, anogenital, and skin. Thus, the association of HPV with these malignancies creates an opportunity to control these HPV lesions and HPV-associated malignancies through immunization. Strategies to prevent or to therapeutically treat HPV infections have been developed and are still pushing innovative boundaries. Currently, commercial prophylactic HPV vaccines are widely available, but they are not able to control established infections or lesions. As a result, there is an urgent need for the development of therapeutic HPV vaccines, to treat existing infections, and to prevent the development of HPV-associated cancers. In particular, DNA vaccination has emerged as a promising form of therapeutic HPV vaccine. DNA vaccines have great potential for the treatment of HPV infections and HPV-associated cancers due to their safety, stability, simplicity of manufacturability, and ability to induce antigen-specific immunity. This review focuses on the current state of therapeutic HPV DNA vaccines, including results from recent and ongoing clinical trials, and outlines different strategies that have been employed to improve their potencies. The continued progress and improvements made in therapeutic HPV DNA vaccine development holds great potential for innovative ways to effectively treat HPV infections and HPV-associated diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-996
Number of pages26
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • DNA vaccine
  • HPV
  • HPV E6
  • HPV E7
  • cervical cancer
  • dendritic cells
  • therapeutic vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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