Human papillomaviruses (HPV) may cause pre-cancer or cancer in humans, particularly in the genital region or at the anus. More than one million of patients worldwide develop pre-cancer caused by HPV every year. Generally, those lesions are treated with surgery or laser therapy, which may cause considerable side effects in the affected patients. A targeted therapy that may spare normal tissue from damage is currently missing.
We have identified a molecular mechanism by which HPV alters the cells to become malignant and identified a class of drugs that may revert this situation. We are developing a novel treatment strategy with those substances that may be applied to the pre-cancer locally by the patients themselves. Thereby, we intend providing a causally effective therapy against HPV pre-cancer that, at the same time, may reduce treatment side effects in patients.