A.A. Kasparov’s Method of Ocular Herpes Treatment

An approach to managing ocular herpes developed by professor A.A. Kasparov, academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and his colleagues back in 1970:

  • is second to none in terms of efficacy
  • implies a treatment strategy entirely different from the conventional one
  • is based on nonspecific immunotherapy, cell technologies and antiherpetic vaccine
  • is aimed at underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms and improves immune response
  • does not require toxic drugs and is not associated with allergic reactions
  • is constantly being improved and employs cutting-edge techniques, such as local express auto-cytokine therapy (LEACKT)
  • in contrast to conventional modalities, prevents recurrence due to the use of antiherpetic vaccine, which has no counterparts in the world
  • was tested in experimental settings in professor A.A. Kasparov’s doctoral dissertation
  • was proven effective and safe: countless patients have been successfully treated over the period of 40+ years at the Research Institute of Eye Diseases.

Professor Stephen Kaufman, a well-known American ophthalmologist specializing in corneal disorders, referred to the technique as “Russian approach to treating herpes.”

History of the technique

Professor A.A. Kasparov started working on treatment for ocular herpes in the late 1960s. At the time, the only available treatment modalities were corneal scraping with iodine staining, low-efficacy highly toxic chemotherapy drugs (such as Oxolin and Tebrophen), as well as Idoxuridine (IDU), an American drug which became commercially available in 1962. All these medications had limited effect on ocular herpes, were only manufactured in topical forms and caused severe toxic and allergic reactions which placed constraints on their further use.

Once it became clear that available treatment modalities were ineffective, toxic and caused serious complications, a team headed by professor A.A. Kasparov conducted pioneering research into various endogenous interferon inducers and their effects on adenovirus infection of the eye and later herpes. The results were published in 1972 in the form of an article on interferon inducers for ocular herpes.

Soon after, in 1974, professor A.A. Kasparov defended his dissertation dedicated to clinical aspects, diagnosis, etiological and pathogenic treatment of ocular herpes which defined the key principles of the novel approach to ocular herpes treatment based on experimental and clinical data.

Since then, many techniques have been improved, new methods have appeared such as cell technologies (e.g., LEACKT), microdiathermoplasty and amniotic membrane transplantation, and new devices have been developed (new microdiathermy coagulator and excimer laser). That said, the key principles of the method still remain unchanged.

Key principles of A.A. Kasparov’s method

1. Immunotherapy

In contrast to the existing Western approach (inhibition of the virus with chemotherapy drugs), professor A.A. Kasparov introduced a polar opposite – immunotherapy, which aimed at strengthening the immune system by inducing production of the patient’s own highly effective interferon.

Poludan is the first interferon inducer which is highly active and remains the best even to this day. Effective treatment strategies employing combinations of Poludan and Acyclovir and other agents have also been developed.

2. Active treatment based on reasonable combinations of microsurgery and antiviral drugs
3. Autologous cell technologies (LEACKT)
4. Recurrence prevention using novel antiherpetic vaccine

A.A. Kasparov’s approach to ocular herpes management
Treatment methods Classification Drug / surgery Use
I Antiviral Nonspecific immunotherapy Poludan, endogenous interferon inducer
  1. Eye drops
  2. Periocular injections
  3. Combinations:
    • Poludan + Acyclovir
    • Poludan + antiherpetic vaccine
    • Poludan + LEACKT
II Surgery Active surgical treatment at any stage of ocular herpes, including acute stages
  1. Microdiathermocoagu lation (MDC), microdiathermoplasty
  2. Laser techniques
  3. Amniotic membrane transplantation
  4. Local express auto- cytokine therapy (LEACKT)
  5. Lamellar keratoplasty (LKP)
  6. Stromectomy + deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (down to Descemet's membrane)
  7. Penetrating keratoplasty (PKP)
  8. Triple procedure
The choice of modality or combination depends on the depth and extent of corneal damage
III Cell technologies Local express auto-cytokine therapy (LEACKT)
  1. External LEACKT
  2. Intracameral LEACKT
  1. Epithelial and stromal lesions
  2. Endothelial and stromal lesions
IV Antiherpetic vaccine Specific immunotherapy Antiherpetic vaccine inactivated by drying Vaccination every 6 months over the period of 3 years