It was reported that the two drugs on which his lab is working are likely to stop HPV from causing cancer. Pan suggests that, even if the virus can't be eliminated through vaccination, it may be possible to prevent HPV from making people sick.
He says the assumption among HPV researchers has been that the more than 100 strains of HPV all behave similarly and cause the same disease, but that research from his lab shows that this is not the case.
“Different HPV strains can drive different clinical behaviors,” Pan said. For example, his lab identified one strain in particular, HPV-33, that causes much more aggressive cancers in mice than HPV-16, the most common strain. “There’s a huge difference in terms of survival and also in terms of treatment response,” he explains.