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Proliferative Verrucous Leukoplakia Treatment & Management

  • Author: Rahat S Azfar, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jul 05, 2016
 

Medical Care

Owing to the progressive nature of proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL), many forms of therapy used for the management of traditional leukoplakia have been disappointing. Carbon dioxide laser, radiation, topical bleomycin solution, oral retinoids, beta-carotene, and systemic chemotherapy have all failed at achieving permanent cure. Although improvements have been noted with some of these modalities, recurrence rates after cessation of therapy are high, often within months of discontinuation of treatment.

Laser ablation reportedly has been successful in a very small group of patients followed for 6-178 months.[29] Topical photodynamic therapy also may prove useful; it causes relatively low morbidity and no scarring, and multiple mucosal sites can be treated simultaneously. However, multiple treatments over the course of the disease's progression may be required.

Methisoprinol (isoprinosine or inosine pranobex) is a synthetic agent capable of inhibiting viral RNA synthesis and replication and of stimulating antiviral cell–mediated reactions that has been shown to have some clinical efficacy in HPV-induced lesions. In an open-label trial of HPV-positive patients with proliferative verrucous leukoplakia treated with surgery alone versus surgery with presurgical and postsurgical treatment with methisoprinol at 500 mg q4h for 3 days preoperatively, followed by 500 mg bid for 2 months postoperatively, 72% and 16% of patients in each respective treatment arm experienced relapse at 18-month postoperative follow-up; however, no longer-term follow-up or randomized controlled trial data are available.[30]

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Surgical Care

Surgical resection is the current treatment of choice for proliferative verrucous leukoplakia. However, given the high rate of recurrence, multiple surgical interventions may be necessary, including block resections in cases involving the gingiva.[27]

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Consultations

Consultations with an oromaxillary pathologist, oral surgeon, and otorhinolaryngologist are suggested.

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Prevention

Advise patients with proliferative verrucous leukoplakia to avoid other known factors associated with development of oral carcinoma, such as tobacco, alcohol, and betel.

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Long-Term Monitoring

Given the high rate of malignant transformation in patients with proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL), a thorough intraoral examination should be performed every 6 months, with a low threshold for biopsy of suggestive lesions.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Rahat S Azfar, MD Clinical Instructor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Rahat S Azfar, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Rosalie Elenitsas, MD Herman Beerman Professor of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Director, Penn Cutaneous Pathology Services, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Rosalie Elenitsas, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society of Dermatopathology, Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Received royalty from Lippincott Williams Wilkins for textbook editor.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Jacek C Szepietowski, MD, PhD Professor, Vice-Head, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University; Director of the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Orfagen for consulting; Received consulting fee from Maruho for consulting; Received consulting fee from Astellas for consulting; Received consulting fee from Abbott for consulting; Received consulting fee from Leo Pharma for consulting; Received consulting fee from Biogenoma for consulting; Received honoraria from Janssen for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from Medac for speaking and teaching; Received consulting fee from Dignity Sciences for consulting; .

References
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A leukokeratotic plaque is seen in on the upper lip, along with an erythematous plaque on the left hard palate. The patient has a large right-palate defect from a prior surgical excision of a squamous cell carcinoma.
 
 
 
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