According to Sarid and Gao 2011, six human viruses have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as “carcinogenic to humans” . All in all these account for the majority of virus related cancers (12%) These include viruses that are mostly region related like EBV is to Africa and Japan. Others are frightening because of their aggressive proliferation like KSHV. Some still have controversial ties to cancer even today like MCPyV. However, none are more scary or well known as HPV.
Sarid and Gao claim that HPV is responsible for 80% of cervical cancer. According to the W.H.O, cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women and the 7th most common overall. With a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer throughout your life time, HPV is a huge deal.
There are over 100 different types of HPV today. These can be found in the epithelial cells in the genital areas, mouth and throat. Some types of HPV will go away on its own without leaving a trace that it was even there. Many high risk types however can linger and cause a variety of problems.
With so many types of HPV it would be next to impossible to create a vaccine for every one. However, there are many some types that are more prevalent, and have greater consequences, making them imperative to eliminate. The highest risk types are type 16 and 18, leading to about 70% of cervical cancer. These two types are not likely to disappear after contraction and can prove deadly. While there are some vaccines out there to treat the symptoms, I believe more money, time and effort should be put into a cure for these two.
The most imperative part about this vaccine is the timing in which you take it. Only once the HPV has been in your cells for a long time, is it capable of causing cervical cancer and other complications. Once cervical cancer is contracted, a vaccine won’t do any good. That is why it is imperative for sexually active people to take regular PAP tests. Once diagnosed, that person should get the new vaccine as soon as possible.
As previously mentioned it would be next to impossible to develop 100+ vaccines for the virus types due to financial implications. This is exactly why it would be better to cure type 16 and 18. Since type 16 and 18 affect the most amount of people, the most amount of people would be willing to pay top dollar for the vaccine. Once a large profit was achieved, that money could be spent on less aggressive and harmful types such as type 31 and 35.