According to the results of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a cream made from human breast milk and nicknamed Hamlet can dramatically reduce, and often eliminate, common warts.
Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells, which the researchers refer to by the acronym HAMLET, is the ingredient that forces the wart cell to self-destruct by accumulating in each cell's nucleus and interfering with its translation/transcription processes.
The results, published in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, extend well beyond wart treatment as the same class of viruses are also responsible for cervical cancer, genital warts, and some types of skin cancer.
Since doctors can cheaply eliminate warts by freezing, the new cream "will probably never be able to compete with existing inexpensive therapies for cutaneous viral warts," said Jan Bouwes Bavinck and Mariet Feltkamp of Leiden University Medical Center, in a Journal commentary.
"The real challenge, therefore, will be to prove it is also effective in the treatment or prevention of other conditions related to human papillomavirus," or HPV, they said.
Common warts, which usually appear on the hands and feet, can be resistant to treatment with creams.