UNM Scientists Study One-Dose HPV Vaccine

Jun 12, 2015

Women looking to vaccinate themselves against a cancer-causing virus usually have to take three trips to the doctor’s office. But researchers are looking into more efficient ways of delivering protection.

Two types of the sexually transmitted infection HPV, or human papillomavirus, cause three quarters of all cervical cancers. And a research paper published this month shows that it may only take a single dose of vaccine to prevent them.

Cosette Wheeler is a regents professor at the University of New Mexico, who helped study the vaccine’s effect on humans as it was being developed. "It’s difficult to get three doses of vaccine delivered," she said. "It takes a lot of time and coordination from a provider side, as well as from a parents’ side, at least for the main target of these vaccines, which are adolescents."

The version of the HPV vaccine they studied, Ceravix, is not typically used in the United States. But Wheeler is hoping this promising study can be conducted on vaccines that are used in the U.S.