Review article: Advancements in Targeted Molecular Therapy for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Related Cancer


Amanda Szymanski, Joel E. Mortensen, Patricia Tille


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted disease among both men and women. High risk cases can quickly develop into cancer, most frequently in the cervix and oropharynx. Standard treatment options include surgery and chemotherapy both of which are painful, hard on the body, and can leave the patient with long term side effects. Unlike traditional therapy methods, molecular targeted therapy focuses specifically on molecular changes making it more effective, highly specific, and more tolerable than more traditional methods. Molecular targeted therapy has shown promising results for various types of cancer. Recent developments for HPV specific cases have led to some exciting advancements in precision medicine.

Cetuximab and gefitinib are two recently developed molecular targeted therapy drugs that target epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) to deactivate molecular pathways responsible for cancer growth. Both drugs are proven to be safe and effective therapy options that can improve the patient’s overall survival and decrease disease recurrence. However, drug resistance remains problematic for patients using molecular targeted therapy. A common solution is combining molecular targeted therapy with additional options such as chemotherapy or other targeted therapies. This has the potential to eliminate drug resistance. However, there are limited target therapies available for HPV cancer. This demonstrates the need for further research and drug development for HPV related cancer cases to make further advancements.


Key words: Human papilloma virus; Cancer; Molecular targeted therapy; Molecular target identification; Oropharyngeal; Molecular detection; miRNAs; Epidermal growth factor signaling; Kinase inhibitors; Monoclonal antibodies; Cetuximab; Gefitinib; Resistance; T790M


Int. J. Bio. Lab. Sci 2022(11)2:71-79 【PDF】

Current Issue

IJBLS 2024 13 main 2


Articles View Hits