There are more than 100 known strains of HPV, of which only 12 are classified as high risk, with some types related to the risk of cervical, vagina, vulva, penis and anus cancer, and others related to head cancer , neck and oral cavity. According to a new study published in «Nature» a subtype (considered low risk) of the human papillomavirus could be a key element in involuntary protection against skin cancer.

“This is the first evidence that commensal viruses could have beneficial health effects in both experimental and human models, and it turns out that this beneficial effect has to do with cancer protection. The role of these viruses on the human body is to induce immunity that then protects patients from skin cancers, ”says Shawn Demehri, from Massachusetts General Hospital. Demehri and other scientists, conducted experiments with mouse models that show that those with intact immune systems and natural immunity against papillomaviruses, as well as mice that had adaptive immunity from T-cell transfer, were protected against skin cancer when exposed to ultraviolet light or chemicals known to be The causes of skin cancer.

In patients with weakened immune systems, the loss of immunity instead of the carcinogenic effects of HPV is the reason for the more than 100-fold increase in the risk of skin cancer, the researchers say. Their findings suggest a novel method to prevent skin cancer using a T-cell-based vaccine, the essential cells of the immune system that identify other cells as abnormal or foreign and mark them for destruction.

“T-cell-based vaccines against HPV can provide an innovative approach to increase this antiviral immunity in the skin and help prevent warts and skin cancers in high-risk populations,” the researchers say.

This study states that, increasing natural immunity against HPV immunity can further improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy against this type of skin cancer using immune control point inhibitors, medications that remove the brakes of the immune system and allow you to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

They also analyzed human skin cancer samples to detect the presence and activity of 25 subtypes of the Virus considered to be known at low risk and found that activity and viral load were significantly reduced in skin cancers compared to adjacent normal skin, « which suggests a strong immune selection against the virus. positive malignant cells ”, concludes the Doctor.

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