Cure for HPV Found by Researchers in Mexico
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US, consisting of over 150 different variations, some of which can lead to cancer. Most forms of HPV treatment are known to be expensive and ridden with negative side effects, sometimes even resulting in cancer and death.
According to the CDC, around 79 million Americans are infected with HPV, with those in their late teens and early 20s being especially susceptible. HPV often goes away on its own without creating health complications; however, in some cases, it can cause genital warts and cancer. A team of researchers led by Dr. Eva Ramos Gallegos at Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) claim that they have found a cure for HPV.
After two decades, Dr. Gallegos and her team have developed a form of photodynamic therapy (PDT) effective at treating HPV, using light to promote a chemical reaction that kills unwanted cells. The treatment has proven very successful based on the results of a study performed on 449 women. Subjects who were infected with HPV with no cancer lesions were completely cured of HPV after the treatment. The treatment was also able to cure 64% of women who contracted HPV with lesions and 57% of women with lesions but no HPV.
This new PDT treatment is non-invasive and differs from other treatments as “it only eliminates damaged cells and does not affect healthy structures.” Therefore, as Dr. Gallegos explained, “it has great potential to decrease the death rate from cervical cancer.”
Although Photodynamic therapy may soon be a widely accepted HPV treatment, health professionals still recommend 11-12 year old boys and girls receive HPV vaccinations which can completely prevent several of the most common kinds of HPV infections. A new HPV vaccine that is effective for adults up to the age of 45 has also been recently approved by the FDA.