Global HPV Therapeutic Vaccine study and exploratory discovery in Kenya and India

Conducting design research to determine product characteristics of a new therapeutic HPV vaccines for cervical cancer elimination.
World Health Organization (WHO)
Kenya and India

Scope Impact, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), is conducting a global study and discovery design research in Kenya as well as India to understand the potential public health value of therapeutic HPV vaccines in relation to existing cervical cancer interventions. Therapeutic vaccines are a new and growing approach to treating an infection or disease that has already occurred, by drawing on the body’s immune response to recognize and destroy the infection or abnormal cells.  Therapeutic HPV vaccines are still in early clinical development, so the aim is to determine product characteristics and the value in investing in this technology from a variety of user perspectives.

The discovery research will support WHO’s global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem, which could result in more than 62 million lives saved over the course of the next century. Prophylactic or preventative HPV vaccination for girls as well as cervical cancer screening and treatment are critical to achieving the goals of the global strategy.

Prophylactic vaccine programs are growing, but currently cover only 13% of girls eligible to receive the vaccine. Screening and treatment are crucial to address the gap for women who have not received preventative HPV vaccine, but these have been complex and expensive to scale.  New simpler approaches are needed for women who have already acquired cancer-causing types of HPV to prevent progression to cervical cancer, and a therapeutic vaccine has potential to meet this need.


Project approach

We will use human-centered design (HCD) principles and methods, ensuring a highly participatory, inclusive and empathy-based approach to the research. The study design combines both qualitative and quantitative methods. In both Kenya and India, we will conduct research using qualitative methods with three user-groups: national and subnational programme managers, health providers, and women. We will explore user-group perspectives on the potential value of therapeutic HPV vaccines, their future use cases, and their optimal characteristics. 

Based on these findings, we will conduct a digital survey across all WHO regions for regional and national programme managers to gain broader perspectives on therapeutic HPV vaccines across different contexts.  The findings will assist WHO in refining impact modeling of a potential future HPV therapeutic vaccine and developing guidance on preferred product characteristics to be used by universities, companies and other stakeholders who are working on clinical development of the vaccine.  

Stay tuned for more on the project!

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