Cervical cancer continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, making prophylactic cervical cancer vaccines an important focus for cervical cancer prevention. The increasing accessibility of these vaccines worldwide has the potential to greatly decrease the incidence and burden of disease in the future. However, current prophylactic vaccines offer no therapeutic benefit for persons already infected with human papillomavirus HPV types targeted by vaccines or persons with precancerous lesions or cervical cancer. The protection offered by current vaccines is primarily against HPV types used to derive the vaccine, although partial cross-protection for related virus types has been observed. Herein, we describe findings from preclinical and clinical studies that employ vaccine strategies that have the potential to shape the future of vaccines against cervical cancer. Modalities include prophylactic strategies to target more oncogenic virus types by using the minor capsid antigen L2 and/or by increasing the number of types used to derive virus-like particle vaccines. Therapeutic strategies include the development of vaccines against HPV early proteins (targets for cellular immunity) for the resolution of precancerous lesions and cervical cancer. Future applications of existing virus-like particle-based vaccines are also discussed. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.