Traditional Chinese medicine for human papillomavirus (HPV) infections: A systematic review

Biosci Trends. 2017 Jul 24;11(3):267-273. doi: 10.5582/bst.2017.01056. Epub 2017 May 6.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are common and generally harmless, but persistent infections can bring health problems like cancer and genital warts. For the uninfected group, HPV vaccines provide safe and effective protection, but they're type-restricted and expensive. For those infected, so far there have been a handful of treatments for HPV-associated benign or malignant diseases, traditional Chinese medicine being one of them. This systematic review focuses on the application of traditional Chinese medicine in HPV infection and related diseases on the basis of clinical findings. Moreover it covers compositions and mechanisms based on in vitro laboratory methods and animal models. Traditional Chinese medicine improves clinical index in the treatment of cervical cancer and genital warts; the mechanisms behind the effectiveness might be the regulation of cell apoptosis, viral gene transcription and translation, cell signal transduction pathways, and immune function.

Keywords: HPV infection; Traditional Chinese medicine; cervical cancer; genital warts; human papillomavirus (HPV).

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Condylomata Acuminata / drug therapy*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Mice
  • Papillomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal