Background: Pilot studies of adjuvant therapy with topically applied interferons (IFN) have shown promising results in reducing the recurrence of condylomata acuminata (CA).
Objective: The aim of this multicenter placebo-controlled, double-blind study was to confirm the efficacy and safety of topically applied IFN in a large sample of patients.
Methods: After removal of CA by CO2 laser surgery, electrocautery or cryosurgery, 120 patients applied either recombinant IFN-beta (0.15 or 1.0 x 10(6) IU/g) or placebo gel to the affected areas 5 times daily for 4 weeks. The patients were followed for a total of 24 weeks or until recurrence of CA was observed, respectively.
Results: In the 105 patients evaluated for efficacy after 24 weeks, recurrence rates were 75% (27/36 patients) in the placebo group, 62% (21/34) in the 1.0 x 10(6) IU/g group (n.s.) and 54% (19/35) in the 0.15 x 10(6) IU/g group (p = 0.034). Only few mild adverse events were noted, which were almost limited to the application site.
Conclusion: Topical application of gel containing 0.15 x 10(6) IU/g recombinant IFN-beta is safe and appears to reduce the recurrence of CA after surgical treatment.