The NCI awarded a 5-year, $8.3 million research grant to Weill Cornell Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center and Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil to investigate strategies to prevent HPV-related cancers among individuals with HIV.
The grant will fund design and implementation of three clinical trials that will focus on oropharyngeal cancer and cervical cancer. Both malignancies are caused by HPV infections, and rates of these cancers are significantly higher among individuals with HIV.
The first trial will evaluate whether the HPV 9-valent vaccine (Gardasil 9, Merck) can prevent oral HPV infections among men with HIV.
The second trial will focus on rapid “point-of-care” screening tests to help detect cervical premalignant lesions.
The third trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a novel therapeutic HPV vaccine for .
The co-principal investigators are Timothy Wilkin, MD, associate professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine and infectious disease specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Anna R. Giuliano, PhD, founding director of Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center; and Luisa Lina Villa, PhD, associate professor in the department of radiology and oncology at Universidade de São Paulo.
The three institutions comprise the Multinational Partnership to Prevent HPV-Associated Cancer in People Living with HIV: Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, which is part of NCI’s U.S.-Latin American-Caribbean Clinical Trials Network. The network joins institutions in the U.S. with those in low- and middle-income countries in the Caribbean and Latin America to conduct multidisciplinary trials.