Philadelphia -- Hildegund C.J. Ertl, M.D., a scientist at The Wistar Institute, has been awarded a two-year $30,000 grant from the Cancer Research Foundation of America to continue her development of a vaccine against Human Papilloma Virus-16 (HPV-16).
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. HPV-16 is one strain of the virus that can lead to cervical cancer. Over 10,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.
Cervical cancer is caused by HPV-16 when the proteins known to scientists as E6 and E7 disable other cellular proteins that control cell growth and repress tumors.
Dr. Ertl's research involves finding a vaccine that uses either the E6 or E7 protein from HPV-16 to activate T-cells, which are cells that help the immune system fight diseases. These T-cells could then cause tumors to regress.
Dr. Ertl's work in this area was classified by the Cancer Research Foundation of America's scientific review panel as a very high priority.