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Book and New Media Reviews
May 2003

Human Papillomaviruses: Clinical and Scientific Advances

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Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(5):677-678. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.5.677-a

The viruses responsible for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection have long been known to cause banal, benign lesions such as cutaneous warts and anogenital condylomas, which occur in most individuals at some time in their lives. More recently, the discovery of HPV involvement in the genesis of malignant lesions (eg, squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix and the skin) has generated considerable interest among clinicians and research scientists. These viruses long eluded laboratory culture and were therefore difficult to study. Progress in molecular biology techniques, however, has allowed considerable advances in our understanding of their nature and their role in the development of mucocutaneous benign and malignant diseases; and this understanding, in turn, generates hope for the production and use of prophylactic vaccination. The aim of this book, written principally for clinicians, was to present current research ideas alongside present-day approaches to patient management—essentially, it provides a "gene-to-clinic" approach.