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Developing a vaccine for penile cancer in horses

Summary: Researchers will produce papillomavirus-like particles for potential use as a vaccine to protect horses against cancer of the penis.

Description: Penile cancer is a common, but difficult-to-treat, cancer of horses. Recent studies show that many equine penile cancers are caused by infection with equine papillomavirus type 2. In people, human papillomaviruses cause almost all cervical cancers and a proportion of penile cancers. To prevent these cancers, virus-like particle human papillomavirus vaccines were developed and are now widely used for cancer prevention. In this study, techniques used to produce the human VLPs will be used to develop equine papillomavirus type 2 VLPs. The successful production of equine papillomavirus type 2 VLPs is a critical first step toward developing a vaccine to protect horses against penile cancer.


INVESTIGATOR: Dr. John S. Munday, Massey University