Last Modified: January 14, 2010
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Can HPV be treated?
Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:
Currently, we do not have treatments for the HPV vaccine itself. The good news is that 70% of women with low grade abnormalities on their pap tests caused by HPV will see those changes go away by themselves within 2 years because of the body's immune response. We do have a range of therapies that focus on treatments of problems caused by HPV.
Harry Quon, MD, MS (CRM), Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
HPV cannot be treated at this time. The best approach is to prevent infection. The vaccine does not treat the HPV infection at this time and works best to prevent infection. This is different from studies that are underway which are trying to ask if HPV associated oropharyngeal cancers should be treated different. These studies are not asking how HPV infection can be treated.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, How Much Do You Know About HPV? View the entire transcript here.