Wistar Scientist Awarded Cancer Research Foundation Of America Grant To Develop Vaccine For Human Papilloma Virus

January 22, 1999

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.
The Wistar Institute, established in 1892, was the first independent medical research facility in the country. For more than 100 years, Wistar scientists have been making history and improving world health through their development of vaccines for diseases that include rabies, German measles, infantile gastroenteritis (rotavirus), and cytomegalovirus; discovery of molecules like interleukin-12, which are helping the immune system fight bacteria, parasites, viruses and cancer; and location of genes that contribute to the development of diseases like breast, lung and prostate cancer. Wistar is a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.

The Wistar Institute

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