Cidofovir Reported Useful for Mollusca Lesions in Kids

from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange

MCV (molluscum contagiosum virus) can cause disfiguring lesions on the face, neck and genitals of people with HIV/AIDS. There is no therapy specifically licensed for the treatment of MCV lesions, but doctors have used, with varying degrees of success, the immune boosters Aldara (imiquimod) and DNCB, liquid nitrogen, electric "zapping" of lesions and Retin-A. Recently, doctors at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, have reported some success against MCV lesions using the antiviral drug cidofovir (Vistide).

The doctors reported data on two male children. One was an 8 year old with a CD4+ count of 329 cells and a viral load greater than 700,000 copies. The other was 4-years-old boy who had a CD4+ count of 168 cells and a viral load of about 430,000 copies. Despite the fact that both boys had been receiving HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) for about two years, hundreds of MC lesions had developed on their bodies.

The doctors prepared a skin treatment by mixing 15 grams of cidofovir with 22.5 grams of Dermovan ointment. The lesions were treated once daily for five consecutive days each week, for eight weeks. Lesions on the face were left uncovered, but lesions on the rest of the body were covered with Scotch tape. The lesions became red and sore during the first two weeks of treatment. Most of this redness cleared during the two-day rest period after each treatment cycle. The doctors reported that the lesions healed leaving "superficial" scars. At the site of former lesions, the boys' skin became darker or, in other cases, lighter as a result of treatment. No serious side effects were reported. After two months of cidofovir therapy the MC lesions cleared and have not returned after 18 months of monitoring. According to the doctors, at the end of the study both boys showed "significant improvement in their self-image and resumed their social activities."

Archives of Dermatology 2000;136:983-985.

From Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE). For more information visit CATIE's Information Network at