Vaccines against transforming HPV infections
Overexpression of p16INK4a in HPV-transformed cells prompted us to develop vaccines targeting this protein. In normal cells, expression of p16INK4a triggers immediate cell cycle arrest and senescence. HPV-transformed cells however can continue to grow despite overexpression of p16INK4a.
What we do
We therefore hypothesized that using p16INK4a as vaccine target may result in an efficient immune therapy for HPV-associated but presumably also other human cancers.
An initial clinical trial to test this concept showed that p16INK4a-based vaccine can be administered safely without causing severe side effects. It further documented that patients who were vaccinated develop a robust immune response against p16INK4a.
Currently we are extending these initial clinical trials and are actively seeking to improve administration routes and efficacy of this vaccine.
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