Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the clinical effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an adjuvant therapy for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Design: The design of this study was a case series. Location and subjects: Fifty-one (51) patients with laryngeal papillomatosis who were treated at Keio University Hospital between May 1981 and April 2008 were incorporated in this study. Interventions: Individually formulated TCM was orally administered postsurgically to 20 patients with aggressive laryngeal papillomatosis requiring multiple laser ablations (at least biannually) because of frequent recurrence. Eight (8) patients were excluded because of discontinued visits or medication (6 patients), or malignant transformation of the lesion (2 patients). The remaining 12 patients were enrolled in this study. Outcome measures: Retrospective chart review and review of the patients' recorded laryngeal images were performed. Clinical response to TCM was measured by the surgical necessity and Derkay's severity score for each patient, followed by statistical analyses. Results: Surgeries were required statistically less often (p= 0.0029) after TCM administration compared with the pre-TCM period. Furthermore, Derkay's severity score was significantly lower (p= 0.022) at the patients' last visit compared with the score before TCM administration. Conclusions: TCM may be a useful adjuvant therapy to treat aggressive laryngeal papillomatosis. Further studies are necessary to clarify the pharmacological mechanism of TCM in the treatment of laryngeal papillomatosis.
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