Funding from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation to Lea Sistonen and John Eriksson
The research groups of Lea Sistonen & John E. Eriksson receive 968.000 € for a research project to specifically target HPV-Driven Cancers
Human papillomavirus (HPV) are viruses that most of us are exposed to during our lifetime. HPV infection is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer, HPV is increasingly causing other types of cancer, especially oral cancers, and HPVs are also causing various types of warts or papillomas. HPV-mediated diseases have a vast negative health impact but there is currently no cure available for the treatment of these cancers and other diseases. Although national vaccination programs in developed countries have reduced the spread of HPV and reduced the incidence of cancer in some target groups, HPV-positive cancers will continue to be a major problem, especially as there are currently no drugs available to treat them when cancer development has begun.
The consortium uses previous findings that have yielded targeted molecules that specifically eliminate the HPV E6 and E7 oncoproteins, i.e. the carcinogenic proteins in the virus that are known to play a key role in promoting the development of HVP-positive cancers. The HPV-targeted molecules will be used in combination with another targeted approach also developed within the consortium, i.e. treatments that reduce the stress tolerance of cancer cells and thus their viability, based on the cellular defense mechanisms that are responsible for regulating gene expression in stressful conditions. The main goal of the project is to find new therapeutic measures to specifically eliminate tumors caused by HPV infection.