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Vaccine offers cervical cancer treatment hope

A new broad-spectrum vaccine could prove to be an effective treatment for cervical cancer, a new study has suggested.

Findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute revealed that mice and rabbits immunised with a multimeric-L2 protein vaccine were protected from infection when exposed to human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 some four months after being vaccinated.

The existing HPV L1-based vaccinations are nearly 100 per cent effective against the two main types of HPV, which between them account for 70 per cent of the world's cervical cancer cases.

But they are not able to provide the same level of protection against other cancer-causing HPV virus types.Concluding the study, the researchers wrote: "If an L2 vaccine were proven effective in people, its simpler manufacturing process could make the local production of such a vaccine highly feasible, which might achieve the goal of producing it at sustainable prices in emerging countries and lead to its widespread implementation in the developing world."

Cervical cancer can only be diagnosed through a biopsy of the cervix.

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