"Our repeated observation that untreated warts resolve after injection of only one wart prompts the speculation that intralesional [injection into the wart] immunotherapy induces HPV-directed immunity," the authors write. "Indeed we have observed resolution of hundreds of flat warts in individual patients after injection of only one lesion. It is possible that local and distant responses of warts in subjects who received saline or interferon alfa-2b alone develop by the same mechanism as when antigen is injected and that many triggers of an immune response to HPV exist. While injection of saline is an appropriate control, it is not a true placebo. That noted, local and systemic responses to saline injection in this study were far less likely than when antigen was used."
"Intralesional immunotherapy for common warts is effective and safe," the authors conclude. "It is unique in affording many patients a therapeutic response in untreated warts and may, through stimulation of HPV-directed immunity, provide fewer recurrent warts. While useful in any patient with warts, intralesional immunotherapy may be particularly useful in patients with numerous lesions or lesions covering large surface areas."
(Arch Dermatol. 2005; 141:589-594. Available post-embargo at www.archdermatol.com.)
Editor's Note: This study was su
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