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New Vaccine May Protect Against Cervical Cancer

Researchers from Maryland have developed a new DNA vaccine that targets proteins expressed in cervical cancer cells. Their findings appear in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Virology.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in more than 99 % of cervical cancer cases, which is the second leading cause of cancer death among women throughout the world. Consistently identified in HPV cancer cells, proteins E6 and E7 are the determined cause of malignant transformation.

In the study mice were immunized with a DNA vaccine encoding CRT (a binding protein with many cellular functions) and linked to E6 targeting HPV-associated lesions. Results showed a significant T-cell immune response specific to E6, indicating that a CRT/E6 DNA vaccine could also protect against E6 expressing tumors.

"We have shown that DNA vaccines encoding E6 can generate strong E6-specific CD8+ T-cell immunity and can control the growth of E6-expressing tumor cells," say the researchers. "Therefore, E6 vaccines, and perhaps E6 and E7 vaccines in combination, may represent an important approach to controlling HPV-associated cancers."

(S. Peng, H. Ji, C. Trimble, L. He, Y. Tsai, J. Yeatermeyer, D.A.K. Boyd, C. Hung, T.-C. Wu. 2004. Development of a DNA vaccine targeting human papillomavirus type 16 oncoprotein E6. Journal of Virology, 78. 16: 8468-8476.)


New Antimalarial Compound Identified Through Self-Medicative Behavior of Wild Chimps

French and Ugandan researchers have discovered novel antimalarial compounds by observing the behavior of wild chimps. Their findings appear in the August 2004 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

In the study researchers observed a Kanyawara community of fifty wild chimpanzees for unusual feeding behaviors, especially those of ill chimps. Stool and urine samples were collected for analysis. The occasiona
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
17-Aug-2004


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