Clearance of Cervical Human Papillomavirus Infection by Topical Application of Curcumin and Curcumin Containing Polyherbal Cream: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Study

  • Basu, Partha (Department of Gynecological Oncology, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Dutta, Sankhadeep (Department of Oncogene Regulation, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Begum, Rakiba (Department of Gynecological Oncology, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Mittal, Srabani (Department of Gynecological Oncology, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Dutta, Paromita Das (Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Bharti, Alok Chandra (Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology, NOIDA) ;
  • Panda, Chinmay Kumar (Department of Oncogene Regulation, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Biswas, Jaydip (Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Dey, Bindu (Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India) ;
  • Talwar, Gursaran Prashad (Talwar Research Foundation) ;
  • Das, Bhudev Chandra (Dr. BR Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research)
  • Published : 2013.10.30


Curcumin and curcumin containing polyherbal preparations have demonstrated anti-microbial and antiviral properties in pre-clinical studies. Till date no therapeutic intervention has been proved to be effective and safe in clearing established cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The present study evaluated the efficacy of Basant polyherbal vaginal cream (containing extracts of curcumin, reetha, amla and aloe vera) and of curcumin vaginal capsules to eliminate HPV infection from cervix. Women were screened by Pap smear and HPV DNA test by PCR. HPV positive women without high grade cervical neoplasias (N=287) were randomized to four intervention arms to be treated with vaginal Basant cream, vaginal placebo cream, curcumin vaginal capsules and placebo vaginal capsules respectively. All subjects were instructed to use one application of the assigned formulation daily for 30 consecutive days except during menstruation and recalled within seven days of the last application for repeat HPV test, cytology and colposcopy. HPV clearance rate in Basant arm (87.7%) was significantly higher than the combined placebo arms (73.3%). Curcumin caused higher rate of clearance (81.3%) than placebo though the difference was not statistically significant. Vaginal irritation and itching, mostly mild to moderate, was significantly higher after Basant application. No serious adverse events were noted.


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