Nov. 5th, 2009

joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)

Researchers are working on a vaccine that appears to treat current, active HPV infections!

This is still in the early stages, and this study is rather small. But what it seems to do is, when a woman has vulvar lesions, treatment with this vaccine causes the lesions to stop growing and, in some cases, disappear all-together, with a few of the women showing no signs at all of HPV-16 up to 2 years after the treatment.  Although it didn't slow or get rid of the lesions for every woman, all women showed *some* immune response to the vaccine.

Says the head researcher:

"In principle, this vaccine gives an enormous stimulation of the immune response against the HPV antigens expressed in infected and transformed cells. As such, it should do the same in patients with other types of HPV-16-induced (pre-)malignancies. However, in cancer patients, other forces may work against the efficacy of this vaccine. These need to be tackled, too, in order to make the vaccine do its job,"

Since it didn't work in all cases, the research team is investigating why, so they can improve the vaccine.  This is big news, since vulvar cancer tends to be difficult to treat because it's multi-focal & recurrent (it crops up in multiple places and it keeps coming back), and, theoretically, what works for HPV-16-caused vulvar cancer should work for HPV-16-caused cancer elsewhere.  
joreth: (Misty Sleeping)
I nearly died from laughing so hard at the adorableness that is the red fox hunting through snow:

[personal profile] summer_jackel, I thought of you in particular!


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