Skin tumor vaccine shows promise in wild mice, rising hope for transplant patients


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IMAGE: Mastomys coucha rodents vaccinated against skin papillomavirus (MnPV) do not develop skin tumors, in contrast to unvaccinated animals.
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Credit: Daniel Hasche

Papillomaviruses (linked to cervical cancer when they infect the mucosal tissue in the female reproductive tract) can also infect normal skin, where they cause warts and possibly non-melanoma skin cancer, mostly in immune-suppressed organ transplant patients. An article published on February 20th in PLOS Pathogens suggests that vaccination might prevent virus-associated benign and malignant skin tumors.

Transplant recipients need to take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ. Among the side effects of these drugs, widespread abnormal skin growths have large impact on the patients’ quality of life.

... read more at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-02/p-stv021314.php