Women-Led Researcher Team In Mexico Developed A Cure For HPV, A Primary Cause Of Cancer

Women-Led Researcher Team In Mexico Developed A Cure for HPV, A Primary Cause Of Cancer

Researchers at National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico are currently celebrating a significant scientific achievement: a new treatment which they claim can completely cure the human papillomavirus (HPV), helping to curb a leading cause of cancer among women.

Led by scientist Eva Ramon Gallegos, the group managed to eradicate HPV in 29 patients through a non-invasive technique that's known as photodynamic therapy, as reported by El Universal.

The treatment includes the use of a drug called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, alongside a wavelength of light which is used to treat affected areas of the body.

Professor Gallegos and her group, consisting mostly of women scientists, had studied the therapeutic method for approximately two decades in hopes to find approaches to prevent or roll back precancerous abnormalities and tumors such as melanoma as well as the early stages of breast cancer.

Approximately 420 patients in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Veracruz were treated with the therapy, along with 29 women in Mexico City.

The group's accomplishment is being hailed as a significant breakthrough, mainly because of the total lack of any known side effects or damage to people that have undergone the therapy.

What is remarkable about this research is that this therapy does not have any collateral damage to the human body, which means it has no side effects.

“Unlike other treatments, it only eliminates damaged cells and does not affect healthy structures. Therefore, it has great potential to decrease the death rate from cervical cancer,” Gallegos explained to Cuba’s Radio Guama.

Before the treatment, patients underwent a colposcopy, hybrid capture test, polymerase chain reaction, pap smear, and a biopsy to diagnose any premalignant lesions or HPV infections.

Human papillomavirus is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) which results from skin-to-skin contact between genitalia. More than 150 different types of HPV exist worldwide, and while most cases of the virus disappear shortly after up to some months following transmission, a small percentage of infections can lead to genital warts or cervical, oral anal, and other cancers.

On the global scale, cervical cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer among women, with 550,000 new cases diagnosed each year, as the World Health Organization (WHO) reported.

In 2018, around 311,000 women died of cervical cancer, with 85 percent of deaths occurring in the developing and undeveloped world.

Cervical cancer is among the leading causes of death among Mexican women, claiming 32,439 lives in 2018, or the equivalent of 89 per day, as reported by Leticia Rocha Zavaleta of the Institute of Biomedical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

A dearth of sexual education and the prevalence of various stigmas and macho attitudes relating to sexual activity in Mexican society has seen unplanned pregnancies and STDs such as HPV increase among young women and adolescents, with girls as young as twelve contracting the disease, as reported by Sin Embargo.

Religious groups and conservative associations continue to combat the implementation of sexual education courses by the country’s Ministry of Public Education.

One of the 29 women who was cured, Lorena Guzman, 52 years old, explained that she had long felt the stigma of carrying the virus, “as if the only cause was sexual promiscuity” and not the need for trust, hygiene, and self-discipline between both partners.

Following twelve months of treatment, Guzman was completely freed from HPV, which she described as a “dream come true.”

“Now that tranquility has returned, I can make long-term plans and enjoy every day of my life,” she explained.

Professor Gallegos feels happy that she has achieved her goal “to cure women.” Yet she warned that progress in the fight against diseases is complicated by bureaucratic stalling and state budget cuts which choke off resources for the scientific community.

Women-Led Researcher Team In Mexico Developed A Cure For HPV, A Primary Cause Of Cancer Women-Led Researcher Team In Mexico Developed A Cure For HPV, A Primary Cause Of Cancer Reviewed by Katerina Papakyriakopoulou on 4:44 AM Rating: 5


  1. Before the treatment, patients underwent a colposcopy, hybrid capture test, polymerase chain reaction, pap smear, and a biopsy to diagnose any premalignant lesions or HPV infections.

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