Pierre Charneau answers questions from the journalist Alexandra Delbot

Nearly 80% of the population will be exposed during their lifetime to HPV, sexually transmitted viruses responsible for certain cancers, particularly of the cervix. To treat these lesions, a first therapeutic vaccine is being developed.

Pierre Charneau is the director of the Pasteur-TheraVectys joint laboratory: “We have developed and optimized a gene transfer system called lentiviral vectors, which are now widely used in biology. And what we did was apply these technologies to vaccines. So why ? Because it is the only gene transfer system that allows genetic information to be transferred into dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are a kind of conductor of the immune system and are absolutely key, they are really at the center of education, of the induction of the “cytotoxic cell” response. As this virus induces cancers, we will target part of the virus, and therefore the cytotoxic cells will recognize all the tumor cells which have this virus inside and will eliminate them in an efficient, clean and lasting manner. »