Diseases of the Colon & Rectum vol:46 issue:8 pages:1103-8; discussion 1108-9
PURPOSE: Human papilloma virus infections of the anogenital region are very common and cause condylomata acuminata; cervical, penile, vulvar, or perianal intraepithelial neoplasia; and more rarely, invasive cancer. The currently available therapies often result in painful, extensive, slow-healing ulcerations and frequent early relapses. This study was aimed at determining the efficacy of topical application of the antiviral agent cidofovir at 1 percent. METHODS: Twenty patients treated with coagulations were compared with 27 patients treated with cidofovir. Lesions refractory to cidofovir were cleared up with additional coagulations. The number of patients previously treated for condylomata did not differ between the two groups. Significantly more patients treated with cidofovir, however, had an impaired immune status (37 percent) compared with the patients treated with coagulations (5 percent). RESULTS: Cidofovir alone cured the lesions in 32 percent of the patients and induced partial regression in 60 percent. However, in smokers, complete resolution of the condylomata occurred only in 16.6 percent compared with 66 percent of nonsmokers (P = 0.03). The number of coagulation sessions was much lower (P < 0.0005) in the cidofovir treated group (1 +/- 0.8 vs. 2.9 +/- 2). Furthermore, the relapse rate was significantly lower in the cidofovir group (3.7 vs. 55). All recurrences in the electrocoagulation group occurred within four months of confirmed lesion clearance. Topical applications of cidofovir 1 percent were well tolerated. Thirty-three percent of the patients reported only mild pain caused by erosive dermatitis. In contrast, coagulations caused painful ulcerations that necessitated the use of analgesics in all patients treated this way. CONCLUSIONS: Topical applications of cidofovir, an antiviral compound with activity against human papilloma virus, is effective in the majority of patients with perianal condylomata and is a valuable adjuvant to surgical treatment of these lesions.