HPV affects more than ten million women in the U.S. alone every year. It also predisposes women to cervical cancer. It is now accepted that HPV causes more than 99 percent of all cervical cancers and can also be responsible for oral cancers. Despite using contraceptives like condoms, HPV can lay dormant for years inside the body, causing cancerous changes to the cervix. Over the last few years, however, some changes have helped make treatment more effective.
Recent breakthrough: HPV vaccine
In the last few years, multiple HPV vaccines for many strains of the HPV virus have made their way to the market or are in active development. Debates still rage about the use of the HPV vaccine – several researchers are of the opinion that the vaccine should not be used for teenage girls because the HPV vaccine might encourage teenagers to have unprotected sex. Women who have already been exposed to HPV will get no benefit from the vaccine.
Researchers at the University of Leeds, Faculty of Biological Sciences, have found a revolutionary new way of encouraging the body to recognize the HPV virus and attack it. The natural killer cells are a special kind that work to protect the body against the infection. Researchers at Leeds University have been trying to activate these NK cells to recognize and target HPV for destruction.
Doctors at the University of Texas focused on other aspects of treating HPV, including treating the HPV in men.
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