Thursday, March 31, 2016

Study gives new meaning to having a chemical peel

CANCER DIGEST – March 31, 2016 – A chemical peel may prevent cervical cancer, a new Austrian study shows. Researchers at the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital have developed a new treatment for the pre-stages of cervical cancer, caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. The study appeared in the Feb. 2016 Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The treatment involves using 85% trichloroacetic acid, an acid that is traditionally used for medical and cosmetic skin peeling.
The records of 241 women with HPV infections resulting in precancerous lesions who had been treated with the chemical were included in the study. Of those 179 had high-grade cervical lesions, called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2–3) and 62 had low-grade (CIN 1) squamous intraepithelial lesions. 

The new treatment in this study showed that the acid treatment resulted in a significant reduction of precancerous lesions. In the high-grade patients the regression rate was 87.7 percent and in the low-grade lesions the remission rate was  80.3 percent.

The few side-effects essentially consist of mild discomfort during the procedure and a discharge, which lasts for around two weeks and is caused by the mucous that is shed following the treatment. These side effects are offset by the outcome of the study. Eight weeks after the procedure, 82% of all women treated were found to be in complete remission.

The traditional treatment for such pre-stages of cervical cancer consists of a surgical procedure, so-called cervical conization. It's major side-effect is a marked increase in the rate of premature births. 

The present study shows that it is possible to spare patients the stressful operation and the augmented risk of giving birth prematurely by using a gentle and comparatively simple procedure.

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