J. Clin. Invest. 116:1167-1173 (2006). doi:10.1172/JCI28607.
Copyright ©2006 by the American Society for Clinical Investigation

Review Series

Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines

Douglas R. Lowy and John T. Schiller

Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Address correspondence to: Douglas R. Lowy, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. Phone: (301) 496-9513; Fax: (301) 480-5322; E-mail: [log in to unmask].

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer, the second most common cause of death from cancer among women worldwide. This Review examines prophylactic HPV subunit vaccines based on the ability of the viral L1 capsid protein to form virus-like particles (VLPs) that induce high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Following preclinical research by laboratories in the nonprofit sector, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline are developing commercial versions of the vaccine. Both vaccines target HPV16 and HPV18, which account for approximately 70% of cervical cancer. The Merck vaccine also targets HPV6 and HPV11, which account for approximately 90% of external genital warts. The vaccines have an excellent safety profile, are highly immunogenic, and have conferred complete type-specific protection against persistent infection and associated lesions in fully vaccinated women. Unresolved issues include the most critical groups to vaccinate and when the vaccine's cost may be low enough for widespread implementation in the developing world, where 80% of cervical cancer occurs.

Full text: http://www.jci.org/cgi/content/abstract/116/5/1167

On 2/26/07, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask] > wrote:
In the case of HPV, we actually have more that just epidemiology, we have a great deal of research into the mechanisms by which the virus causes cancer. Much of this was carried out by German virologist Harald zur Hausen, one of the first profiles I wrote for Science back in the early 1990s. The combination of epidemiology and molecular biology, just as with HIV, makes it possible to conclude with high confidence that an agent is causal rather than just correlated.

best, Michael

On 2/26/07, Eric Entemann < [log in to unmask]> wrote:
In experimental science, such as epidemiology, all we have is correlation.
The better the correlation, the better the evidence to "believe" that
causation exists, but causation cannot be proved, only "noncausation".  And
even noncausation proofs might require unethical studies, as in "exposure of
n subjects in category p to x level of toxins for y days did not result in
the occurrence of cervical cancer during the subsequent z years."

----Original Message Follows----
From: Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List
< [log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 09:25:29 -0500

I am not saying that HPV is not correlated with cervical cancer. Correlation
and "cause" are two different things, though I appreciate the acceptance of
epidemiological findings as legitimate science, here. (Please remember this
for other discussions on HIV/AIDS, etc.)

The main questions on Gardasil are:

1) Is there sufficient evidence in the research studies Meerck performed to
conclude, as Meerck does, that Gardasil prevents cervical cancer?

2) Have there been sufficient (or ANY) studies done on the longterm effects
of the vaccine, particularly when given to young girls?

3) Are there environmental/toxic-exposure causes for HPV? For cervical

4) Can HPV be addressed by other, more natural and less toxic ways,
including removal of any causes due to exposure to pollutants/toxins and
supplementation with L-Lysine?

Mitchel Cohen

At 02:44 AM 2/26/2007, you wrote:
>This has to be our starting point for any discussion of the vaccine,
>because it is one of the most solid epidemiological findings for any type
>of cancer. I have no intention of debating the issue here, because anyone
>can easily find the original sources on this which are compelling and have
>been for a long time. It is obviously legitimate, however, to raise other
>issues about the HPV vaccine, although I would caution against jumping to
>conclusions about adverse effects from anecdotal reports of effects that
>may have no relationship to the vaccine at all (like dizzy spells.) Serious
>researchers monitor such reports carefully to see if they fit a larger
>pattern or not.
><http://www.michaelbalter.com> www.michaelbalter.com
>Michael Balter
>Contributing Correspondent, Science
><mailto: [log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]

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