It might cover all types of HPV and be given as a nasal spray, researchers say
TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've created a synthetic vaccine that can be delivered as a nasal spray for human papillomavirus -- the source of the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and a cause of cervical cancer.
The experimental vaccine, tested so far just with mice, also offers protection against different strains of HPV, the researchers said.
The existing vaccine for HPV, called Gardasil, protects against four strains of the virus that are responsible for about 70 percent of all cervical cancers. The Gardasil vaccine requires three injections for full protection.
"We have been trying to produce a single vaccine that would be able to protect patients against all cancer causing HPV types," said Richard B.S. Roden, lead researcher for the new study and an associate professor of pathology, gynecology and obstetrics, and oncology at Johns Hopkins University.
"What we have done is to try to develop a completely synthetic vaccine that would induce antibodies that would neutralize and protect against a whole range of these cancer-causing strains," he added.
The advantages of the synthetic vaccine are that it can be synthesized as if it were a drug, Roden said, adding that "it can be made chemically in the lab rather than having to use biological systems."
A synthetic vaccine also should be cheaper, Roden added. Using this approach, the vaccine could also be given nasally, he said.
"This may be another way to reduce the cost of vaccination, because you don't have to use needles," he said.
The findings are published in the April 15-18 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In their experiments, Roden and his colleagues used a protein from one of the strains of HPV -- HPV16 -- to create a man-made v
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