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HPV Infections: The Need for Awareness

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Wednesday, February 20, 2019

HPV infections are persistent and common today. At some point in their lives, the majority of the people who have sex are infected by HPV. Most HPV patients have no symptoms, and they feel perfectly well, and hence, they are unaware of their infection. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is present in more than 200 types. Around 40 types, the vulva, Vagina, colon, rectum, anus, penis, and scrotum, as well as mouth and throat can infect the genital area. These HPV types are spread through sex.

Scientists from the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that human papillomavirus (HPV) could lead to new cervical cancer treatments and other virus cancers. It was under the guidance of UVA researcher Anindya Dutta, Ph.D., of the UVA Cancer Center.

Cervical cancer, with approximately 570,000 new cases in 2018 representing 7.5 percent of all female cancer deaths, is the most frequent fouleeprth cancer among women globally. More than 85 percent of the estimated deaths from cervical cancer in less developed regions is expected at more than 311,000 every year. Programs are in place in developing countries to allow girls to get HPV vaccinated and women to get regular screening. Screening makes it possible to detect pre-cancerous lesions in stages when treatment is easy. Early treatment in these countries prevents up to 80 percent of cervical cancers.

In May 2018, in order to enhance access to and coverage of these three essential interventions for cervical cancer—HPV vaccination, HPV screening, and treatment of pre-cancer lesions and cervical cancer treatment—the WHO Director-General called for action to remove cervical cancer.

For many years, HPV was an enemy for scientists, although researchers have a strong understanding of how it causes cancer: by producing proteins that reduce the natural tumor prevention skills of healthy cells. It appeared obvious to block one of these proteins, called oncoprotein E6, but the trial was unsuccessful for many years.

HPV uses USP46 for an activity contrary to what is known to be done by oncoprotein E6. E6 has been known to recruit another cellular enzyme to degrade the tumor suppressor of the tumor for more than two decades, while new findings from Dutta show that E6 uses USP46 to stabilize and prevent the degradation of other cellular proteins. Both E6 activities are essential for cancer growth. Researchers assume that this finding will have an impact on people’s minds and make them more conscious and agile so that they remain safe from HPV infections.

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