Treatment of locally recurrent Epstein-Barr virus-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma using the anti-viral agent cidofovir

J Med Virol. 2008 May;80(5):879-82. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21165.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated malignant tumor. Recently, cidofovir, an anti-viral drug which is an acyclic nucleoside analogue, has been reported to have an anti-tumor potential. Two patients with NPC, who had previously received multi-round therapy, were treated with cidofovir. Cidofovir was topically injected in and around the tumor once every 3 weeks (originally 75 mg/ml sulution, diluted to 15 mg/ml just before injection, 37.5 mg of cidofovir at a time). Tumor growth was suppressed for several months around the injection site in each patient. EBV-encoded RNAs in situ hybridization revealed the reduction of the tumor cell population; however, the EBER expression was still maintained in the NPC tumor cells. Although the anti-tumor mechanism remains unclear, these results suggest that cidofovir is actually an effective and safe agent for the treatment of NPC.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cidofovir
  • Cytosine / administration & dosage
  • Cytosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cytosine / therapeutic use
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / virology*
  • Organophosphonates / administration & dosage
  • Organophosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Pharynx / diagnostic imaging
  • Pharynx / pathology
  • Pharynx / virology
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Radiography
  • Ribosomal Proteins / biosynthesis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Organophosphonates
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • RPL22 protein, human
  • Cytosine
  • Cidofovir