Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis: update 2008

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Dec;16(6):536-42. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e328316930e.


Purpose of review: Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is the most common benign neoplasm of the larynx in children. Over the past several years some exciting new therapeutic options as well as some relevant research into the disease process has emerged that may offer new insight and methods in managing this frustrating disease.

Recent findings: Recent investigations have resulted in the following findings: more accurate prevalence estimates of human papilloma virus in women in the United States; correlation of socioeconomic status and disease severity; the malignant potential of human papilloma virus in head and neck cancer; the role of the host immune system in RRP; the efficacy of a vaccine preventing human papilloma virus; the emergence of pulsed dye laser and potassium-titanyl-phosphate laser as a therapy for RRP; the efficacy of cidofovir as an adjunctive therapy for RRP; and the role of cyclooxygenase-2 in the molecular biology of RRP.

Summary: The management of RRP is ever evolving. Despite several new therapies discussed in this study, it is still a disease with the potential for high morbidity. As the focus of therapy shifts from treatment to prevention, it will take many years to determine whether prevention strategies are effective in limiting the spread of this disease. In the mean time, further research is needed to gain better control of this disease process.

MeSH terms

  • Alphapapillomavirus*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / virology
  • Papilloma / prevention & control
  • Papilloma / therapy*
  • Papilloma / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / virology


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines