Public Release: 

Risky surgery not always necessary to treat cervical disease

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

March 16, 2005 - Revolutionary advancements in the treatment options for diseases associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) now include nonsurgical options such as chemoprevention and vaccines. A review of these methods is published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

The standard treatment to date has been to surgically remove the infected tissue, which puts patients at risk for reproductive consequences and does not ensure that all infected tissue has been eliminated. New methods such as chemoprevention and vaccines (used to treat and also prevent) now present possible cures without invasive means, thereby eliminating these risks.

Chemoprevention involves the use of micronutrients or pharmaceutical agents to delay or prevent the development of cancer from HPV in currently healthy patients. Progress and treatment of the infected tissues can be monitored through colposcopy, which is relatively noninvasive since the cervix is readily accessible.

Two distinct types of vaccines have been used. These include the prophylactic vaccine which focuses on human immune responses that may help prevent HPV infections. The other is a therapeutic vaccine which stimulates the immune responses to eliminate already infected cells.

Researchers comment that while surgery has been the standard treatment for HPV-related disease to date, other viral diseases are not treated in this way. More research is underway to review treatments and make further advancements in the way of nonsurgical options.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus affecting millions of women. It can cause gential warts and if left untreated, can also cause cervical cancer. According to the article, approximately 20 million people in the United States at any given time are infected and the numbers are significantly increasing throughout the world.

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This study is published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About the Author

Maria C. Bell, MD, FACOG, FACS, is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. She is a member of a number of related societies including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. Dr. Bell can be reached for questions and interviews at bellm@siouxvalley.org.

About the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer

The International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (IJGC) is published on behalf of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the European Society for Gynaecological Oncology. IJGC presents papers from throughout the global community of researchers covering many topics including basic science, epidemiology, diagnostic techniques, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, pathology and experimental studies. The Journal allows you to call on a roster of international experts for the latest research, advice, and knowledge in order to provide the best treatment for your patients. The list of editorial board members represents every part of the globe and all the major disciplines - gynecology, oncology, radiation therapy, and pathology - involved in treating cancer.

About Blackwell Publishing

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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