Novel Treatments for Warts Show Promise

Autoimplantation is a suitable approach for patients with multiple warts associated with distant lesions, while MMR injection is ideal for fewer or single warts.

A study published in Dermatologic Therapy reports that both autoimplantation and intralesional injection of the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine are promising treatments for warts.

The researcher reviewed retrospective data from 80 patients (2 groups of 40 patients) from the dermatology and venereology outpatient clinic at Zagazig University hospital in Egypt, for a head-to-head comparison of autoimplantation and intralesional MMR vaccine injection for the treatment of warts. The first group was treated by autoimplantation every 2 weeks for up to 4 treatments. The second group was given injections of 0.5 mL MMR vaccine via insulin syringe directly into the largest or oldest wart every 2 weeks for up to 4 treatments.

Patients in the autoimplantation group showed a significantly greater clearance of “non-manipulated” warts (47.5%) than patients in the group receiving the MMR vaccine (20%), which was attributed to induction of a “delayed hypersensitivity to wart antigen in the specific HPV genotype infected patients.” Responses of the manipulated warts were not significantly different between the treatment groups.

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The MMR vaccine group saw flu-like adverse effects (AEs) in 5 patients. There were no AEs in the autoimplanation group.

Based on these findings, the investigator concluded that both modalities are effective alternatives to current therapies for the treatment of warts. Specifically, he determined that intralesional MMR vaccine injection is “ideal” for a single or small number of lesions, while autoimplanation is a good choice for treatment of multiple warts associated with distal lesions.

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ElGhareeb MI. Comparative study of autoimplantation therapy and intralesional injection of MMR vaccine in warts treatment. Dermatol Ther. 2019 Oct 24:e13135. doi:10.1111/dth.13135