Current use of intralesional cidofovir for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis

Laryngoscope. 2013 Mar;123(3):705-12. doi: 10.1002/lary.23673. Epub 2012 Oct 15.


Objectives/hypothesis: The authors sought to define the indications, administration, and adverse events associated with intralesional cidofovir use for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP).

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: A 21-question online survey was distributed to 115 selected adult and pediatric laryngeal surgeons internationally. Results were used to draft statements of best practice, which were approved by the full membership of the RRP Task Force.

Results: Eighty-two surgeons, who altogether presently manage 3,043 patients with RRP, responded to the survey. Seventy-four surgeons previously used cidofovir, reporting 1,248 patients in the last decade (estimated 801 adults and 447 children). Single indications for adjuvant cidofovir included six or more surgeries per year, increasing frequency of surgery, and extralaryngeal spread (in children). Most adult surgeons use 20 to 40 mg in <4 mL; pediatric surgeons use <20 mg in <2 mL. Scheduled administration following an initiation trial of five injections is common; cidofovir is discontinued following a complete response. Most surgeons biopsy routinely, use special informed consent, and are willing to participate in multi-institutional clinical trials on cidofovir uses, efficacy, and safety.

Conclusions: Eighteen statements were approved by the RRP Task Force after discussion of the survey results. Intralesional cidofovir may be initiated if surgical debulking is required every 2 to 3 months. The concept of an adjuvant regimen with regular biopsy is favored. Administration should remain below established safe limits of dosing (3 mg/kg) and volume. Informed consent, including discussion of off-label use and acute kidney injury in children, is important. A special consent form sample is included. There remains a need for high-quality data.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cidofovir
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cytosine / administration & dosage
  • Cytosine / adverse effects
  • Cytosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Organophosphonates / administration & dosage*
  • Organophosphonates / adverse effects
  • Papillomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / surgery
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Reoperation
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / surgery


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Organophosphonates
  • Cytosine
  • Cidofovir

Supplementary concepts

  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis