Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial of two treatments for vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (RT3 VIN)
This trial looked at 2 drugs called cidofovir and imiquimod for vulval intraepithelial neoplasia. The trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) means there are abnormal cells in the skin of the
More about this trial
Doctors usually treat VIN 3 with surgery or possibly laser treatment. In this trial, the researchers were looking at an anti viral treatment called cidofovir and a type of
The researchers hoped that the treatments would help women with VIN 3.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- If cidofovir and imiquimod can help women with VIN 3
- How safe these treatments are
- More about the side effects
Summary of results
The researchers found that both cidofovir and imiquimod were safe and helped women with VIN 3.
180 women took part in this trial.
- 89 applied cidofovir gel to the affected area 3 times a week for nearly 6 months
- 91 applied imiquimod cream 3 times a week for nearly 6 months
The researchers have the results for 71 women who had cidofovir. They found that
- In 41 women the abnormal cells (VIN) had disappeared
- In 14 women the abnormal cells got a bit better
- In 8 women the abnormal cells stayed the same
- In 8 women the abnormal cells got worse
The researchers have the results for 68 women who had imiquimod. They found that
- In 42 women the abnormal cells had disappeared
- In 10 women the abnormal cells got a bit better
- In 6 women the abnormal cells stayed the same
- In 10 women the abnormal cells got worse
The side effects were similar for both drugs. They included
- Itchy skin and skin ulcers
- Pain in the vulva
- Muscle pain
The researchers concluded that both cidofovir and imiquimod were safe and helpful treatments for VIN 3. They recommend that they are looked at in larger clinical trials. They also suggest that doctors could use either cidofovir or imiquimod instead of surgery for women who have VIN that hasn’t spread beyond the skin covering the vulva.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Amanda Tristram
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Wales Cancer Trials Unit
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/06/024.