Latest Issue of Science News


News

Virus Stopper: Vaccine could prevent most cervical cancers

Throughout much of the 20th century, scientists suspected that sexually transmitted infections cause cancer of the cervix. But the culprit remained hidden until 2 decades ago, when scientists isolated human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA from cervical tumors.

That discovery is now paying dividends. In the Nov. 21 New England Journal of Medicine, a team of U.S. scientists reports that a vaccine fashioned from an HPV protein protects women from long-term viral infections that can lead to cervical cancer.

"This is an amazing accomplishment," says medical geneticist Robert D. Burk of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "It represents what modern molecular genetics can do."

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.