July 23, 2010 (BRONX, NY) The National Cancer Institute has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University $4.1 million to test the microbicide Carraguard against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. The research will evaluate the efficacy of Carraguard a clear gel made from the seaweed derivative carrageenan in preventing new HPV infections in women.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 440 million males and females are infected with HPV worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control estimates at least 20 million Americans have HPV.
Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infections with several types of HPV, the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in young adults. Thanks to effective cancer screening, only a small subset of these infections progress to cervical cancer in the developed world. But according to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second-leading cause of female cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 250,000 deaths each year. More than 85 percent of these cases occur in developing countries.
Despite significant advances in the fight against HPV in particular, effective vaccines that were recently developed many women are not reaping the benefits. HPV vaccines do not provide adequate protection for women already infected with HPV and are too expensive for most women in developing countries. In addition, condoms are not always effective at preventing infection. A safe, reliable and inexpensive microbicide could protect women around the world from HPV infection and its potentially deadly consequences.
"This grant reflects our goal of pursuing innovative strategies to tackle the problem of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections," said Mark Einstein, M.D., M.S., lead investigator and associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health and of epidemiology & populati
|Contact: Deirdre Branley|
Albert Einstein College of Medicine