On Saturday, October 12, 2013, Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine in the Department of General Dentistry Dr. Alessandro Villa received the Best Poster Presentation Award at the 2013 Italian Association of Oral Medicine and Pathology Meeting in Rome.
Dr. Villa presented a challenging case of recurring herpes simplex virus (HSV) in a patient with a history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia who received an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
The patient was a 46-year-old male with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He had undergone a reduced intensity allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant 20 months prior. The patient had developed a new onset of painful oral ulcers. He had been previously diagnosed with chronic graft-versus-host disease of the skin, mouth, liver and gut, and was being treated with prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil, extracorporeal photopheresis, valacyclovir (4 grams a day due to previous oral breakthrough infections), sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim prophylaxis, and intraoral topical steroid therapy.
Clinical examination revealed multiple, extensive, superficial, and irregularly shaped ulcers of the oral cavity. The viral culture was positive and a direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test confirmed HSV-1 and testing demonstrated acyclovir susceptibility. The patient was admitted for intravenous foscarnet therapy with resolution of oral lesions after one week. He was discharged on valacyclovir (4 grams day), and at the two-month follow-up there were no signs of recurrence. After four months the patient presented with many new and painful oral ulcerations that tested positive by DFA for HSV-1. In response to these results, CMX001 (1-O-Hexadecyloxypropyl-Cidofovir) was initiated and the ulcers healed completely with a resolution of symptoms after two months. The patient remains on long-term antiviral therapy at the same dose.
“Congratulations to Dr. Villa for receiving the Best Poster Presentation Award,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “His work underscores the commitment to research we cultivate at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.”
GSDM Professor and Chair of General Dentistry Dr. Judith Jones also offered her sincere congratulations to Dr. Villa. She said, “We are fortunate to have Dr. Villa as a member of our faculty and serving as a leader in oral medicine. This award is well deserved.”
“I’m proud to be a member of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine faculty,” said Dr. Villa. He continued, “It’s an honor to have been recognized internationally and I’m humbled by this prestigious award.”