The Truth About HPV, Warts and All

Cosmetic Surgeon Discussing Proceedure With Client In Office

(DGIwire) – The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S., reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least half of sexually active men and women will acquire HPV in their lifetime, according to research published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. In addition, HPV is associated with almost all cases of cervical and anal cancers; approximately 70 percent of vaginal, vulvar and mouth, tongue and throat cancers; and 60 percent of penile cancers, the CDC says.

Now a new CDC report has found that HPV-related cancers amount to an epidemic in men. Following the actor Michael Douglas’ announcement in 2013 that he suffered from HPV-related throat cancer, according to NBC News, the spotlight turned to how the virus can impact the lives of males as well as females. In its latest findings, the CDC reports that the rates of HPV-related mouth and throat cancers are more than four times higher among men than women. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that HPV infection raises the risk of mouth, tongue and throat cancer sevenfold.

Fortunately, not all effects of HPV on the body are as serious as cancer. Human papillomaviruses can also trigger the benign epidermal tumors known as cutaneous warts.

“Although most cutaneous warts quite often spontaneously disappear over time, treatment is often sought to prevent recurrence or spreading of the warts to healthy skin,” says Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals. “There are many different approaches for treating these kinds of warts, including immunotherapy.”

RXi Pharmaceuticals is studying Samcyprone™, a topical immunomodulator that works by initiating a T-cell response. T-cells, also known as T lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell that plays a key role in cell-mediated immunity. Samcyprone™ is a proprietary topical formulation of diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP), a small molecule that has been used since the late 1970s to stimulate the T-cell response to result in a reduction or clearance of cutaneous warts.

RXi believes Samcyprone™ holds promise in treating common warts, which usually occur on the hands; plantar warts, which can appear on the feet; and flat warts, which mostly appear on the face, according to WebMD.

“With advanced therapies for warts on the horizon, there is hope that those experiencing these viral lesions, which can be very challenging to address using existing treatments, will find relief in the years to come,” adds Dr. Cauwenbergh.