Second-generation prophylactic HPV vaccines: successes and challenges. Academic Article Review uri icon


  • The role of HPV as the causative factor in cervical cancer has led to the development of the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix. These vaccines effectively protect against two HPV types associated with 70% of cervical cancer cases. Despite this success, researchers continue to develop second-generation HPV vaccines to protect against more HPV types and allow increased uptake in developing countries. While a reformulated vaccine based on the current technology is currently in clinical trials, another strategy consists of targeting highly conserved epitopes in the minor capsid protein of HPV, L2. Vaccines targeting L2 induce broadly neutralizing antibodies, capable of blocking infection by a wide range of HPV types. Several vaccine designs have been developed to optimize the display of L2 epitopes to the immune system and to reduce the cost of manufacture and distribution. L2-based vaccines show considerable promise as a potential next-generation HPV vaccine.

publication date

  • February 2014