KYOTO - A Kyoto University research team said Thursday that it has begun a trial to administer a treatment to patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, the preceding stage of cervical cancer.
The team aims to commercialize the treatment in three years if its safety and effectiveness are confirmed.
Infection with the human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the main cause of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
The trial started on the heels of the discovery by Masatoshi Hagiwara, a professor at the university, of a low-molecular compound, named FIT-039, that works to prevent the proliferation of HPV.
The team started to administer the compound in April to healthy women in menopause with a single dose in order to check for side effects. The team will then assess the effect of the therapy by giving it to patients with mild to moderate cervical intraepithelial neoplasia for two weeks. The compound comes in the form of a tablet so patients can administer it themselves by inserting it into the vagina.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by vaccinations in about 70 percent of all cases.
But the government stopped recommending the vaccination in June 2013 after concluding that reports of chronically adverse reactions were likely being caused by the vaccines. As a result, a number of younger women developed the disease.
“I hope the treatment will become one of the options to prevent cervical cancer,” said Junzo Hamanishi, a lecturer at Kyoto University Hospital.