HPV Therapeutic Vaccine trials

Hi all,

I saw this article in The Guardian newspaper last year but didn't see it turn up in the news feed on the forum. It made me feel hopeful that scientists were looking for hpv vaccines that might clear existing high risk infections. I was too old for the vaccine young people now get, but this looks like it is for people with an existing high risk infection though maybe for only 5 hpv types. 


I'm not sure if trial went ahead due to Covid.


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Hello Leia1

Thank you for posting this - I struggled to follow the link but found the article via twitter. The trials were supposed to start in March 2020 and women aged between 25 to 55 with a persistent HPV infection who are interested in joining the trial were invited to contact the team at hpv-study@wrh.ox.ac.uk 

It would be interesting to know whether treatment could also be offered to those of us over 55? The HPV vaccine is currently only available to people aged 45 and under. As you say the pandemic may have delayed the trial. Interestingly the article mentions the pergutory we all go through when waiting to find out whether the treatment we have had has worked and also the fear of cell abnormalities or worse returning.  Apparently in years to come the HPV vaccine for 12 and 13 year olds mean that fewer and fewer young people will be at risk but those of us who are too old will remain more at risk. It is good that scientists are turning their attention to treatment to help to suppress an existing HPV infection.  I for one would have much more peace of mind if I could do something more proactive to keep HPV at bay. Apparently the LLETZ treatment I have had is 95% successful in preventing a recurrence but I still worry that my age means that my immune system is not as good as it once was. Having said that I do count my blessings. As you can see from my history my last tests were negative for HPV - I just hope it stays that way!! I have 2 more years to wait until my next screening - the hardest part is getting my head around the fear and anxiety - I have just been called up for a routine breast screening and had a little wobble that they might find something else out of the blue!!! Thanks again for posting!

A x

Does anyone else know whether this trial has happened or whether it has been put on hold because of the pandemic? Presumably the expertise of the scientists involved in this trial would be needed to help create the Covid vaccine. I have read a post on twitter posted by a scientist that HPV is more prevalent than covid but that public awareness and understanding of HPV is so much lower than awareness of covid. Surely if they were able to create a vaccine and find new treatments for covid in such a short space of time it is possible to do this for other viruses. The development of Prep means that people diagnosed with HIV are able to suppress the virus - surely it would be possible to create a drug which could suppress persistent HPV too? I am not a scientist (and it probably shows!) but it would be great to think that in the future it might be possible to treat HPV and not just the cell abnormalities and worse that these viruses create. Anyone agree?

A x

Hello again!

I searched HPV Therapeutic Vaccine Trials on Twitter and found that research is already being done in France, Belgium and the USA. The Oxford team were working with a team in Belgium. Thought this may be useful to know.

A x

Hi 55

I'm sure it would be technically possible to develop new treatments in a short space of time for viruses, besides Covid.  The thing with Covid is that it's had unlimited amount of money put towards it, and the scientists haven't had to go through the usual time consuming procedures of applying for and then waiting for funding etc etc.    It's a money/political thing. 


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Really interesting read. Thanks so much fir sharing and 55, thanks so much for all the extra info. Really helpful. X

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Thanks all for carrying out more research into this and posting your findings! 

I know that there are so many difficult conditions and cancers that all need cures and treatments and the funding to do the research. 

Just thought it was good to see some form of treatment being researched for those of us too old to have the hpv vaccine as honestly wasn't sure they would now that the vaccine for young people is proving so successful. 

Take care all xxx


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Hi Leia Do you mind me asking how old you are? I know there are many other worthwhile causes which need funding too but there are several cancers which could be prevented or treated if a therapeutic vaccine for HPV is developed - not just cervical.cancer. It's great that the vaccine for younger people is preventing more cases but if scientists find a way to suppress HPV many more cases could be prevented or treated and hopefully eventually make cervical cancer a disease which can be eliminated. I personally would prefer to live in a world where there were more options for the treatment of HPV and where I could live with less fear. Even though we may not be young our lives are still worth saving in my opinion. Also the HPV vaccine given to young people only protects against some strains if HPV - that's why people aged 25 or over still need to attend cervical screening. What I find strange is that my generation were not educated about the prevalance of HPV - I clearly remember the 1980s campaign about AIDS saying "Don't die of ignorance" and yet I feel I was kept in ignorance of HPV!!!! I think health education in schools has improved dramatically since I was young so things are progressing in the right direction but I find myself now having to find a way of living with the knowledge that I am at risk or have been at risk. Hopefully I have survived the worst! Wishing you all the best!

A x

Furthermore apparently the reason there is currently no HPV test for men is the fact that there is no treatment for men (except in the case of cancers of the head and neck where surgery is an option) but if a therapeutic vaccine were created it could be given to men as well as women and this might therefore mean that men could be screened as well as women which in my opinion would be fairer to all concerned!! It would also mean that the generation over the age of 45 would have a lower risk of mortality from HPV related cancers as well as the younger generations. This is of course at the moment just me having a bit of a rant!!! Given that screening in the UK currently stops at the age of 65 anyone who contracts HPV in their 50s ot 60s could well be the patients who are at risk of developing these cancers in their 70s or 80s but they would have no access to testing. In Australia and Denmark the screening age has been raised to 75 and all older women in Denmark have been offered a one off HPV test so that they can be monitored. Rant over!

A x

This is an interesting forum, amazing read as always.

Morning 55,

Think it's amazing to have this forum and a place to rant with other people who know what this all feels like, so definitely don't apologise about that!

I'm 50, and also at school in the 80s and went to a Catholic school so contraception was hardly discussed let alone anything else, and smear test letters didn't come with the info I think everyone gets now, so hpv was something I'd heard of but I admit to not really joining up all the dots, embarrasingly. embarassed

I feel just like you, though that the levels of anxiety surrounding the mysterious hpv virus, which seems to hide and then return might be alleviated somewhat if a way of switching it off could be found.

That was interesting info re testing as well, and what other countries are doing, 55 and thanks for sharing.

Hope you are indeed past the worst, and take care, Xxx

Hi Leia1

Thank you! My dot to dot skills have also had to improve since my diagnosis - lols!  I hope you are keeping as well as can be expected. 

A x

I answered the email for the trial spoken about in the Guardian and was told that it was on hold for covid 

I may be too old by the time it isnt as am already 55

Hi Rebecca,

That's interesting you signed up and found out it had been put on hold. Maybe they'll let you know  if it resumes as I'm assuming you've so far only made an enquiry or did they actually take details and sign you up?

It seems from other posts in this thread that trials have been taking place in other countries so just keeping everything crossed as this would help so many people if it worked (though it did say in the article that it might not work for everyone). We have to hope though...

Thank you for sharing info and best wishesXx

There was no information apart from that. I didn't sign up or anything, I just said I was interested. 
What I ( and am sure loads of others ) would give for a therapeutic vaccine 

There was no information apart from that. I didn't sign up or anything, I just said I was interested. 
What I ( and am sure loads of others ) would give for a therapeutic vaccine 

Thanks Rebecca.

It would be good if we could hear more about it from those in the know. If successful it would benefit so many people worldwide and help so many of us on this forum. 

Take care, xxx


Hello Everyone!

I thought that I would share incase anyone missed this exciting bit of news (as it was around the time this thread was created)..

"Vaccitech Does First Patient in HPV001, a Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of VTP-200 Immunotherapeutic for High-risk Persistent HPV Infection."

It seems that they are ploughing ahead with this study afterall and are currently recruiting in Belgium (hopefully the UK follows asap). I also saw that Vaccitech have been awarded substaintial funding for 3 clinical trials including VTP-200, which, fingers crossed, continues the momentum to finally finding a cure for persistent HPV sufferers of 5 of the high risk subtypes. 


Here are the links I've found below: 



Hope is on the horizon smile



Excellent news!