Recombinant interferon beta gel as an adjuvant in the treatment of recurrent genital warts: results of a placebo-controlled double-blind study in 120 patients

Dermatology. 1998;196(3):330-4. doi: 10.1159/000017906.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Condylomata Acuminata / drug therapy*
  • Condylomata Acuminata / prevention & control
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interferon-beta