RATIONALE: Tretinoin may help cervical neoplasia cells develop into normal cervical cells.
It is not yet known whether tretinoin is more effective than a placebo in preventing
cervical cancer in patients with cervical neoplasia.
PURPOSE: Randomized clinical trial to study the effectiveness of tretinoin in preventing
cervical neoplasia from developing into cervical cancer.
OBJECTIVES: I. Determine whether topical tretinoin reduces the number of viral genome copies
of human papilloma virus (HPV) per cell and inhibits HPV E6/E7 gene expression in patients
with cervical dysplasia. II. Determine the dose of tretinoin for use in a definitive trial
that produces the best overall modulation of these biomarkers.
OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to
cervical intraepithelial neoplasia classification (II vs III). Patients are randomized to 1
of 4 arms. Arm I: Patients receive low-dose tretinoin topically via cervical cap and
polyurethane ether foam sponge changed daily for 4 days. Arm II: Patients receive
intermediate-dose tretinoin as in arm I. Arm III: Patients receive high-dose tretinoin as in
arm I. Arm IV: Patients receive placebo topically as in arm I therapy. Patients are followed
for 6 months.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 180 patients (45 per arm) will be accrued for this study.
DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: Histologically proven cervical dysplasia (cervical
intraepithelial neoplasia II or III) Lesions must be delineated after colposcopic biopsy
No pap smears suspicious for invasive carcinoma No positive endocervical curettage
PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS: Age: Over 14 Performance status: Karnofsky 80-100% Life
expectancy: Not specified Hematopoietic: Not specified Hepatic: Not specified Renal: Not
specified Immunologic: No proliferative skin disorder (e.g., psoriasis) No diagnosed
autoimmune disorders No allergy to tretinoin or latex Other: Not pregnant or nursing
Negative pregnancy test Fertile patients must use effective contraception (except
intrauterine device) during and for 3 months after study Normal diet with adequate protein
and carbohydrate intake No in-utero exposure to diethylstilbesterol No prior malignancy No
prior toxic shock syndrome
PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY: Biologic therapy: Not specified Chemotherapy: At least 1 week
since prior tretinoin No prior retinoids (greater than 25,000 IU vitamin A or equivalent
for at least 3 months) No other tretinoin during or for 3 months after study Endocrine
therapy: No concurrent regular steroids Radiotherapy: Not specified Surgery: See Disease
Characteristics Other: No concurrent regular anticoagulant medication No concurrent
nutritional supplements other than 2 multivitamins per day