By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – Cutaneous warts are benign epidermal tumors caused by human papillomaviruses (HPVs), according to WebMD. Although most warts quite often spontaneously disappear given time, treatment is often sought to prevent recurrence or spreading of the warts to healthy skin. There are many different approaches for treating warts. Three of the major categories of treatment are as follows:
- Physical destruction. Cryotherapy, a method of freezing tissue, can be used to destroy cutaneous warts, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, they can be eliminated via surgical removal; the excision of warts is one option noted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Treatment using carbon dioxide lasers is a viable option as well, reports the NIH.
- Chemical destruction. Salicylic acid can be used to “peel” a cutaneous wart off the skin, reports the AAD. Other chemical agents that have been found useful in addressing warts include glutaraldehyde, podophyllin and cantharidin, as well as bleomycin.
- Immunomodulation. It is well established that the human body’s immune response plays a major role in controlling human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, notes the NIH. Therefore, a host of techniques have been and are being developed to activate the immunologic response to HPV-triggered cutaneous warts. These methods include interferons, retinoids and immunotherapy.
RXi Pharmaceuticals is studying Samcyprone™, a topical immunotherapy currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial for cutaneous warts. “The key to an effective treatment might lie in harnessing the immune system,” said Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals.
RXi believes Samcyprone™ holds promise in treating the following types of these warts:
- Common warts: These usually occur on the hands, fingers, elbows and knuckles, reports the Mayo Clinic. Caused by an infection in the top layer of skin, they may also have a tiny dark or black dot of clotted blood vessels.
- Plantar warts: Appearing as hard, thick patches on the soles of the feet, these can be painful while walking, notes the American Podiatric Medical Association. Plantar warts are often gray or brown (but the color may vary), with a center that appears as one or more pinpoints of black.
- Flat warts: These are smooth and flat, and mostly appear on the face and neck, notes MerckManuals.com. They are yellow or brownish in color and can grow in significant numbers. They are more common in children and teens than in adults.
With advanced therapies for warts on the horizon, there is hope that those experiencing these often painful viral lesions will find relief in the years to come.