The novel treatment of children with viral warts using microwave technology

Cutaneous warts, caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV), are prevalent among school‐age children, with an estimated prevalence of up to 44%.

These warts can cause pain, impair mobility, and result in psychological distress. Existing treatments for warts are suboptimal and encompass destructive treatments, virucidal agents, anti‐proliferative agents, and immunological therapies. In this context, microwave technology has emerged as a potential treatment option.

Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and can induce rapid heating to sub‐ablative temperatures (<50°C) to modulate immune responses against HPV infected cells. The Swift microwave unit (Emblation Ltd.) is a medical device licenced in the UK, EU, and cleared in the US, which allows the delivery of microwave energy through the application of a probe.

A previous study using microwaves has demonstrated efficacy for plantar warts in adult patients but there is limited data on its benefit and tolerability in a paediatric cohort.

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The treatment of plantar warts using microwave – A review of 85 consecutive cases in the United States (2023)

Aditya K. Gupta MD, PhD, Tong Wang MSc, Elizabeth A. Cooper BSc, Robert M. Conenello DPM, Ivan R. Bristow PhD, FRCPodM

Plantar warts (verrucae plantaris) are a common source of pain for patients and are often refractory to treatment. Previous work has shown a high clearance rate of verrucae using a surface-based microwave device (Swift®).


To assess the efficacy, defined as the complete visible clearance of warts, in patients with verrucae plantaris receiving microwave treatment.


We undertook a retrospective review and identified records of 85 patients who underwent a course of microwave treatment at a single US-based podiatry centre. Efficacy was analyzed on the basis on intention-to-treat.

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Microwave therapy for the treatment of plantar warts (2023)

Wendy Hagon, Jonathan Hagon, Greer Noble, Angela Brenton-Rule, Sarah Stewart & Ivan Bristow

Plantar warts, or verrucae plantaris, are common lesions causing considerable pain during weightbearing activity. Although current treatment modalities have low success rates, microwave therapy has been introduced as a promising intervention. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of microwave therapy for the treatment of plantar warts and to determine the clinical factors associated with plantar wart resolution.

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Microwave hyperthermia represses human papillomavirus oncoprotein activity and induces cell death due to cell stress in 3D tissue models of anogenital precancers and cancers (2023)

Hyperthermia is a well-accepted cancer therapy. Microwaves provide a very precise, targeted means of hyperthermia and are currently used to treat plantar warts caused by cutaneous-infective human papillomaviruses (HPVs). Other HPV genotypes infecting the anogenital mucosa cause genital warts or preneoplastic lesions or cervical cancer. Effective, non-ablative therapies for these morbid HPV-associated lesions are lacking.

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