Photodynamic Device Developed to Treat Precancerous Cervical Lesions

Researchers at Photocure and Sagentia are developing non-surgical, tissue-preserving device which uses photodynamic therapy to treat human papillomavirus and the precursors of cervical cancer.

Cevira is a drug-device combination, delivers photodynamic therapy, a targeted light-activated treatment, to destroy tissue infected by human papillomavirus and treat precancerous lesions on the cervix, without damaging healthy tissue.

The single-use device is applied by a trained gynaecologist and can be left in place for up to 24 hours, after which it can be removed by the patient.

Cevira has been accepted for use in a Phase II clinical trial by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The trial will be conducted in multiple centres across US and Europe, and is expected to start in the spring of 2011.

Principal investigator Dr Peter Hillemanns said that this is the first ever non-surgical treatment for human papillomavirus and precancerous lesions of the cervix to be successfully developed.

"If this sophisticated and breakthrough device is accepted, it will make way for a new era in cervical cancer treatment that will not only minimise patient risk and suffering but could also help reduce the burden of HPV on healthcare systems," Hillemanns added.