The impact of cidofovir treatment on viral loads in adult recurrent respiratory papillomatosis

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Dec;269(12):2543-8. doi: 10.1007/s00405-012-2103-7. Epub 2012 Jul 6.


Cidofovir is an antiviral agent used in the therapy of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). In this study, we hypothesized that cidofovir is effective in decreasing the viral load of human papillomavirus (HPV). We established a type specific real-time PCR and measured HPV DNA loads. The course of viral load of HPV types 6 and 11 after repeated applications of cidofovir intralesionally was compared to the clinical outcome using a modified Derkay score. In 6 of the 8 (75 %) patients, we detected HPV 6. In 2 (25 %) patients, we detected HPV 11. In all of the patients, the viral load and the modified Derkay score decreased significantly during the treatment. We conclude that viral load of HPV can be monitored using the technique described here. Cidofovir in combination with surgical debulking reduces the viral load in patients with RRP. Relapses of the symptoms cannot be avoided but might be delayed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cidofovir
  • Cytosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cytosine / therapeutic use
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Human papillomavirus 11*
  • Human papillomavirus 6*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organophosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Viral Load / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • DNA, Viral
  • Organophosphonates
  • Cytosine
  • Cidofovir

Supplementary concepts

  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis