Clinical Trials

Targeting HPV-Related Cancers

DPX-E7 is an investigational immunotherapy that targets a viral protein in human papillomavirus (HPV) known as E7, which is one of two viral proteins expressed in cervical and other HPV-related cancers. We believe that the DPX-E7 HPV vaccine may stimulate the human immune system to mount an anti-cancer T cell response against tumors expressing the HPV16 E7 protein.1,2

In 2017, our Company teamed up with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) for a Phase 1b/2 clinical study evaluating DPX-E7, in combination with low-dose cyclophosphamide in patients with incurable oropharyngeal, cervical and anal cancers related to HPV. DFCI is leading the study through a $1.5 million research grant from Stand Up To Cancer and the Farrah Fawcett Foundation to clinically evaluate collaborative translational research that addresses critical problems in HPV-related cancers.

Approximately 30 to 40 types of HPV are transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital region and oropharynx. About 15 of these are designated “high-risk” (i.e., oncogenic); more than five percent of all new cancers are attributed to high-risk HPV infections. HPV is the cause of virtually all cases of cervical cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide, and has been linked to anal, vulva, vaginal, penile and oropharyngeal cancers.3,4,5

1. McLaughlin-Drubin ME and Münger, K. (2009). The Human Papillomavirus E7 Oncoprotein. Virology, 384(2), 335–344. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.10.006
2. Parkin DM: The global health burden of infection-associated cancers in the year 2002. Int J Cancer 118:3030-44, 2006
3. Walboomers JM, Jacobs MV, Manos MM, et al: Human papillomavirus is a necessary cause of invasive cervical cancer worldwide. J Pathol 189:12-9, 1999
4. Alani RM, Münger K: Human papillomaviruses and associated malignancies. J Clin Oncol 16:330-7, 1998
5. Siegel R, Naishadham D, Jemal A: Cancer statistics, 2013. CA Cancer J Clin 63:11-30, 2013