IAN FRAZER, the developer of the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, and his medical team will work with a local company to conduct clinical trials in Shenzhen, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reported yesterday.
The medical team led by the Scottish-born Australian immunologist, who is also the president of Cancer Council Australia, will officially sign deals with Shenzhen Dehui International Holdings within the year to carry out clinical trials on a new therapeutic HPV vaccine at the city’s international institute of translational medicine.
Frazer’s research on the vaccine against cervical cancer started in 1991. The academician and his Chinese fellow scientist Zhou Jian developed and patented the basic technology behind the HPV vaccine at the University of Queensland, Australia. It was the first vaccine designed to prevent a kind of cancer.
So far, more than 100 million people worldwide have received the quadrivalent HPV vaccine. This August, the nine-valent HPV vaccine became available on the Chinese mainland. Shenzhen also offered 1,060 inoculations and all of the appointments were booked on the first day reservation was available.
In Australia where the vaccine was invented, the government started offering free vaccinations for boys and girls below the age of 12 in 2007. According to a report released by the International Papillomavirus Society this year, the morbidity of cervical cancer among Australian women decreased from 20 percent to only 1 percent over the past 10 years.
However, the vaccination can only prevent cervical cancer and is not effective at treating patients already diagnosed with the cancer.
Public information shows that cervical cancer is still the cancer with the second-highest morbidity in China for women between the ages of 15 and 44. Each year, the nation sees an average of more than 130,000 new patients of cervical cancer, accounting for 28.8 percent globally. Approximately 80,000 Chinese women die of the cancer each year.
According to the Daily’s report, Frazer and his medical team is now working on treating cervical cancer patients by adopting immunological methods. The research has entered the stage of clinical trials, with further work to be carried out at the Shenzhen institute.