Researchers at the University of Glasgow in the UK are trialling a new microwave system for the treatment of pre-cancerous conditions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Designed by Scotland-based firm Emblation, the system emits a low dose of energy to trigger an immune response. The portable device is reported to have been previously validated for the treatment of HPV-related verrucas.
The latest study is intended to test the device’s efficacy in treating cervical precancerous cells and genital warts. Innovate UK is co-funding the research, which will be carried out at the university’s MRC-Centre for Virus Research.
MRC-Centre for Virus Research’s professor Shelia Graham said: “We plan to assess if the device can disrupt HPV and whether there is an effect on HPV-infected pre-cancerous and cancerous tissues.
“The project will validate the microwave device’s clinical potential but will also shed new light on how HPV-associated diseases arise.”
Researchers expect that the new system will provide a less invasive alternative for clearing HPV-infected living tissue, compared to existing painful and invasive treatments such as laser surgery.
Emblation’s research and development (R&D) director Dr Matt Kidd said: “This project is an exciting opportunity to further our knowledge and understanding of microwave interactions with diseased tissue.
“Our device has the potential to address the challenges associated with the treatment of precancerous conditions of the cervix, and the funding from Innovate UK has been crucial in allowing us to work with the experts at the University of Glasgow.”