Saturday, October 10, 2015

Husband and wife team discover cervical cancer treatment breakthrough using HIV drug

HPV researchers Drs. Lynne and Ian Hampson.
HPV researchers Drs. Lynne and Ian Hampson. Image courtesy of Manchester University

Every two minutes, a woman dies of cervical cancer, mostly in low-resource countries. But now, in the world's first clinical trial, a commonly used HIV drug may offer a light at the end of the tunnel to those suffering from one of the most common types of cancer in women.

Drs Ian and Lynne Hampson, from the University of Manchester’s Institute of Cancer Sciences and Dr Innocent Orora Maranga, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Nairobi examined 40 Kenyan women who tested positive for human papilloma virus (HPV) and were diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is caused by an infection with HPV and is more than five times more prevalent in East Africa than the UK. 

The women in the study were then treated with the antiviral HIV drug lopinavir. The researchers findings showed women with high-grade disease revert to a normal healthy cervix within a comparatively short period of time. The University of Manchester has more details:

The 40 women, who were all HPV positive with either high-grade, borderline or low grade disease, were treated with one capsule of the antiviral drug twice a day for 2 weeks. Out of 23 women initially diagnosed with high-grade disease, 19 (82.6%) had returned to normal and two now had low-grade disease giving an overall positive response in 91.2% of those treated. Furthermore the 17 women initially diagnosed with borderline or low-grade disease also showed similar improvement.

While current HPV drugs and vaccines aim at prevention, lopinavir could be the world’s first drug used to fight the disease, instead of widely used surgical treatment.


Senior Producer,
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
Latest Health Videos
Also on
letter icon Newsletter