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October 14, 1983

Interferon joins attack on severe laryngeal papilloma

JAMA. 1983;250(14):1815. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340140009005

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Jennifer, a 3-year-old from Memphis, had laryngeal papilloma of such severity that she required laser surgery every two or three weeks.

Tracey, 5 years old, was being treated for asthma in Kansas City and nearly died of asphyxia before laryngeal papilloma was diagnosed. A tracheotomy had to be performed.

Chris, 24 years old, is an unusually "old" laryngeal papilloma patient living in St Louis. He had endured countless laryngoscopies and surgical procedures throughout his life, with little hope for a better existence.

Until now. These patients are participants in a multi-institutional study to determine the effects of a synthetic interferon-α (Wellferon—made by Burroughs Wellcome Co) in the treatment of laryngeal papilloma. All have shown improvement. Jennifer, in fact, can go more than twice as long between surgeries; after two months, she is only beginning to show signs of relapse.

The coordinating center for the study is at the Johns Hopkins