Twenty-six AIDS patients were enrolled in an open label pilot study to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of topical 1% ophthalmic trifluridine solution for the treatment of chronic mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus disease unresponsive to at least 10 days of acyclovir therapy. Susceptibility testing to acyclovir, trifluridine, and foscarnet was determined by plaque reduction assay. Twenty-four patients were evaluable for efficacy and 25 for toxicity analyses. Seven patients (29%) had complete healing of lesions. The overall estimated median lime to complete healing was 7.1 weeks. An additional seven patients had ≥50% reduction in lesion area. The overall estimated median time to 50% healing was 2.4 weeks. Ten (42%) patients discontinued treatment for reasons other than primary treatment failure and seven (29%) for failure to respond to therapy. Baseline patient characteristics associated with greater reduction in lesion area included higher Karnofsky score (p = 0.05), fewer lesions (p = 0.07), smaller lesion area (p = 0.11), and trifluridine susceptibility (p = 0.07). Eight (33%) patients developed new lesions outside of the treatment area while on study, reflecting the local nature of this therapy. No dose-limiting toxicity attributable to trifluridine was reported. Given the limited options for the treatment of acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex disease, topical trifluridine may be a useful alternative in selected patients.
- Herpes simplex