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June 1986

Concepts of Wart Regression

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Minnesota Medical School Minneapolis, MN 55435

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(6):644-647. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660180050012

Clinicians have long recognized that warts undergo spontaneous regression. The mechanism involved in such regression has undergone intensive investigation and is of interest for a variety of reasons. First, recalcitrant wart disease often frustrates both the afflicted individual and the physician. Second, understanding the process of regression would strengthen our understanding of tumor regression and might have implications in the therapy of cancer. Third, with the increasing population of immunosuppressed individuals, clinicians are faced with a group of patients afflicted with recalcitrant and potentially premalignant warts. It is known that the warts of immunosuppressed individuals may undergo malignant transformation as observed in epidermodysplasia verruciformis and renal transplant patients.1-4 One would ideally like to have an immune-mediated therapy capable of eradicating warts in such high-risk individuals. Finally, there is the matter of the relationship between genital neoplasia and human wart virus infection.5-8 Evidence implicating this