We conducted a study to test the hypothesis that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can either prevent further recurrences of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) or prolong its remission. Our study population was made up of 26 children with RRP. All patients underwent surgical excision of their lesions. After the lesions were removed, half of these patients were prospectively randomized to receive a topical coating of the MMR vaccine on the site of their excised lesion (intervention group); the other half were treated with excision alone (control group). The patients in the intervention group experienced a longer period of recurrence-free remission than did those in the control group (median: 160 and 133 days, respectively), but the difference was not statistically significant. Therefore, it appears that topical MMR vaccine as an adjunct to routine surgical management may not be beneficial in preventing or slowing the return of RRP. However, we believe that further studies with larger patient populations are warranted.
Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a chronic disease of the larynx. Many therapies have been tried, but there is no known cure and it remains difficult to treat. Although RRP is a generally benign condition, if left untreated it could spread throughout the respiratory tract and become fatal.