What RRP ISA is suggesting is that it MAY be possible to achieve extended remission from RRP without all the risk and drama of multiple interlesional injections.
For RRP ISA's executive director and one other patient whose success using this protocol was publicly reported (that's 100% of patients reporting-in who have tried it), the results at first blush look very impressive, although there is a possibility this is all coincidence.
Will it work on the many as it has worked on the few? We don't know. That was one of the reasons why RRP ISA called for a study (see 2007 RRP Focus Session).
RRP ISA has decided not to wait any longer for physicians to step forward to do research. We will be telling patients where they may get artemisinin and how much might be needed, based on RRP ISA's experience. This assumes they might wish to follow the same guidelines as our director used on himself.
Note that in the USA, the FDA doesn't approve or withold its approval because it is not a drug, which greatly extends RRP ISA's latitude in referring to it (still, see disclaimer on website). [It is considered a drug in many other countries, however.]
If physicians think the representations on Gardasil/ART are only hyperbole, so be it. Patients themselves will find a way to test it. We shall be interested in hearing how it worked. As of April 2008, a two year old has already taken his Gardasil shots and has been reported much-improved by his mother (see Novel Therapies>Patient Reports).
Unfortunately, the fallout from our decision will be that patents may be more difficult to "recruit" for controlled research.
We tell patients emphatically, however, that they should consult with their otolaryngologists for as long as they use artemisinin and its analogues. And of course, Gardasil can't be administered without a prescription.
Still, many patients may begin taking artemisinin on their own, thus marginalizing the otolaryngologist's role in collecting publishable data. This is unfortunate, but it is a result we are willing to live with, given the lag we have seen within the otolaryngological community in implementing certain research projects that we believe might be very promising.
Is the greater good served by directly helping patients such as we are doing here, or by withholding that help while we wait for large institutions to obtain IRBs and publish their papers?
Based on one RRP Task Force proposal we have seen (first to study Gardasil, and only later to possibly study artemisinin, and still later perhaps to study both) that could take more than six years.
In the absence of definitive initiative to date on the part of the medical establishment, we have no choice but to weigh in on the side of the patient. . . .