Currently, there are no effective medical treatments for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is the leading cause of cervical cancers. However, recent findings from a small study in Manchester suggest a treatment may be right under our noses – lopinavir (Kaletra), a protease inhibitor used to treat HIV.
Lopinavir, given twice daily for two weeks, was applied to the cervix of 40 Kenyan women who had high-grade, borderline or low-grade pre-cancerous cervical disease resulting from HPV infection. Remarkably, after 3 months, 19 of the 23 women who began the study with high-grade disease had returned to normal and two were classified as having low-grade disease. Results were similar for women with low grade disease.