Researchers on trail of cheaper, easier HPV vaccine

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have come up with a synthetic vaccine for HPV that can be delivered as a nasal spray. The current vaccine, Gardasil, is delivered via three injections.

HPV is a commonly transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. Gardasil guards against four strains of HPV responsible for the lion's share of cervical cancer cases. The researchers want to develop a vaccine that will guard against all strains of HPV.

"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," Richard B.S. Roden, an associate professor of pathology, gynecology and obstetrics, and oncology at Johns Hopkins University, tells Health Day. And by making it chemically rather than through a biologic process the researchers say they can make the vaccine cheaper as well.

In a study involving mice, the researchers say a synthetic vaccine worked to protect the animals against two strains of HPV. The mice were bred with T helper cells known to assist the immune system.

- read the article from Health Day