In this intriguing TEDx talk, A/Prof. Connie Trimble tells how she found a potential cure for cancers caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The initial clinical trials of the newly developed therapeutic vaccine show that half of the participants were free of cervical cancer at the end of the trial.
The currently available cervical cancer vaccine is a preventive vaccine which works when a person has not been exposed to the HPV virus. The new therapeutic vaccine has the potential to treat a condition that already exists.
Every year HPV caused cancers kill almost 300,000 people. It is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in women worldwide and the link between HPV and cervical cancer is stronger than the link between smoking and lung cancer.
Men are not immune to HPV related cancers. Most of men’s HPV related cancers present at the back of the throat and the incidence is skyrocketing in men in their forties and fifties. While there are screening programs for cervical cancer in many countries, there is no knowledge on how to screen for HPV related cancers in men.
Dr Trimble is the Associate Professor of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Oncology at John Hopkins School of Medicine and a member of the Medical Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.