Current treatment options for Human Papilloma Virus infected individuals

By Refadoc, Posted on : Saturday, 09 January 2016 - 4:20 pm IST

When the human papilloma virus infects an individual, it can give rise to conditions such as genital warts, cervical cancer, anal cancer, vaginal cancer etc. All the currently available treatment measures are used to treat these manifestations of


, and not the virus itself. Genital warts are treated with drugs such as salicyclic acid, trichloroacetic acid, imiquimod etc in the form of medicated creams. These chemicals act as irritants and destroy the wart tissue. When medications do not work, warts removal procedures are applied. These include cryotherapy and electrocautery. Cryotherapy involves the use of liquid nitrogen in order to freeze the warts. Electrocautery involves the use of electric currents to burn off the warts. When warts do not respond to these procedures, they can be removed surgically or with the help of lasers.


-induced malignancies of the cervix, vagina, anus or any other areas are treated with conventional cancer therapies such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. 


HPV treatments

under research and development:

Most of the newer treatment options for HPV infection are aimed at killing the virus itself.

An experimental study found that topical application of a new anti-viral drug ranpirnase is effective in treating HPV induced genital warts. It is the first drug to kill the virus itself, as opposed to just treating the wart tissue. However this drug does not seem to have any effect on malignant changes in cells.

A pre-clinical trial carried out by Dr Judith Smith at the University of Texas revealed that a compound present in shiitake mushrooms is effective in killing the human papillomavirus. This study was carried out in mice and its efficacy in humans is yet to be ascertained.


HPV virus

 releases oncoproteins that are responsible for causing cancer as well as prevent the


infected cells from being killed. A research study carried out in Spain has demonstrated that the anti-viral drug cidofovir targets the oncoproteins released by the HPV, thus rendering the HPV infected cells more prone to being killed by radiation or chemotherapy.

A molecular virologist, Ebenezer Tumban is currently working to develop newer vaccines for HPV that will be effective against many different strains of HPV, as compared to Gardasil or Gardasil 9 that are only effective against 4 and 9 strains respectively.

DNA targeted treatments against

HPV Virus

 are also being researched.

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