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Laryngoscope. 2009 Jan;119(1):107-15. doi: 10.1002/lary.20041.

Efficacy and safety of OK-432 immunotherapy of lymphatic malformations.

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Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.



To determine the efficacy and safety of the immunostimulant OK-432 (Picibanil) as a treatment option in the management of children with cervicofacial lymphatic malformations.


A prospective, randomized, multi-institutional phase II clinical trial at 27 U.S. academic medical centers.


182 patients with lymphatic malformations (LM) were enrolled between January 1998 and November 2004. Of the 151 patients with complete case report forms, 117 patients were randomized into immediate or delayed treatment groups; 34 patients were nonrandomized and assigned to the open-label group. Treatment consisted of a four-dose intralesional injection series of OK-432 at eight-week intervals. Patients randomized into the delayed treatment group served as observational controls for spontaneous regression. Response to therapy was measured radiographically by quantitating change in lesion size and graded as complete (90%-100%), substantial (60%-89%), intermediate (20%-59%), or none (<20%).


Of 117 patients randomized with intent-to-treat, 68% demonstrated a complete or substantial response to OK-432 immunotherapy. Response data for macrocystic LM were higher, with a complete or substantial response in 94% of patients; 63% of patients with mixed macrocystic-microcystic LM responded to treatment; no patients with microcystic LM responded to treatment. Spontaneous resolution occurred in less than 2% of patients. Median follow-up of 2.9 years demonstrated a 9% recurrence rate. Major adverse effects related to therapy occurred in 11 patients. As compared to historical surgical data on LM, OK-432 immunotherapy is more effective (P < .001) and has a lower morbidity (P < .001).


OK-432 immunotherapy is an effective, safe, and simple treatment option for the management of macrocystic cervicofacial LM.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT00010452.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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