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Immune System

A potential new immune-based therapy to treat precancers in the cervix completely eliminated both the lesion and the underlying HPV infection in a third of women enrolled in a clinical trial.

The shot, a therapeutic vaccine, injects a specific protein that triggers an immune system response to attack high-risk HPV types that cause nearly all cervical cancer precursors, known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, or CIN.

For many women who thought they had beaten breast cancer, the news that it has roared back years later comes as an especially cruel diagnosis with no clear answers for why or how it recurs.

Now a team of Duke Cancer Institute researchers has filled in some critically unknown details that could lead to potential strategies to halt the process.

Experimenting in mice, the researchers tracked a series of events that enable a small reservoir of treatment-resistant cancer cells to awake from dormancy, grow and spread. The findings appear online in eLife.

Commonly known as HPV, Human papillomavirus is a virus that infects the skin and genital area, in many cases leading to a variety of genital, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers in men and women. Strong evidence exists showing that penetrative genital sex and oral sex can transmit HPV. However, while HPV is also often detected in the hands, the question of whether hand-genital contacts can transmit HPV has long been a source of debate among researchers.

A survey conducted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has found that a “concerning” level of misunderstanding and stigma surrounding human papilloma virus could be putting women off going for life-saving cervical smear tests.

 

The survey, which included more than 2,000 women, found that 40% were concerned a positive result would mean their partner had been unfaithful, 40% were worried about what others may think of them having the virus and two-thirds would be worried it meant they had cancer.

Women that have undiagnosed sexually transmitted infections may be at greater risk of experiencing negative premenstrual symptoms (PMS), according to new Oxford University research.

The study was conducted as part of a long term partnership with the female health, fertility and period-tracking app, CLUE. The findings, published in Evolution Medicine & Public Health, suggest that the presence of an undiagnosed STI might aggravate the negative premenstrual experience.

A therapeutic vaccine can boost antibodies and T cells, helping them infiltrate tumors and fight off human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania tested the immunotherapy approach in two groups of patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCCa) and found 86 percent showed elevated T cell activity. It is also the first study to show that the vaccine can help immune cells infiltrate tumors.

A tumor-specific vaccine combined with an immune checkpoint inhibitor shrank tumors in one third of patients with incurable cancer related to the human papilloma virus (HPV) in a phase II clinical trial led by investigators at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and reported in JAMA Oncology.

A better understanding of the role secreted inflammatory cytokines play in the tumor microenvironment that results in the differentiation of effector T cells into exhausted T cells points to possible approaches to improve the antitumor activity of T cells and to intervene in T cell exhaustion.

Humanpapilloma virus (HPV) is now the leading cause of certain types of throat cancer. Dr. Michael Moore, director of head and neck surgery at UC Davis and an HPV-related cancer expert, answers some tough questions about the trend and what can be done about it.

Q: What is HPV and how is it related to head and neck cancers?

Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) announce the initiation of a clinical trial to evaluate the combination of ONCOS-102, an experimental anti-tumor virotherapy, with the checkpoint blockade antibody IMFINZI® (durvalumab) for advanced ovarian and colorectal cancers.

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