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 looking at immunotherapy for vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN)
This trial was looking at a combination of two treatments for vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN). VIN is not cancer, but there are pre cancerous changes in the skin cells. This may eventually become vulval cancer if it is not treated.
Treatment for VIN is usually surgery or possibly laser treatment to remove the area of abnormal cells. Sometimes women need to have treatment more than once.
In this trial the researchers were looking at a combination of 2 types of
Researchers hoped that this combination of treatments would help women with vulval intraepithelial neoplasia.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- How well this combination of treatments worked for VIN
- What effect the treatment had on the immune system
- More about the side effects
Summary of results
The researchers found that the treatment helped some of the women in this trial.
The trial recruited women who had VIN2 or VIN3. Their average age was 46. About two thirds of the women had already had treatment for VIN and half of those women had already had at least 3 other treatments.
All the women had imiquimod cream for 8 weeks, followed by 3 HPV vaccinations.
Out of 19 women that the researchers have results for, VIN had disappeared
- In 6 women (32%) after 10 weeks
- In 11 women (58%) after 20 weeks
- In 12 women (63%) after 52 weeks
The side effects during the weeks they had imiquimod cream included
From blood samples and
Is it not clear why some women didn’t respond very well. But as VIN disappeared in more than half the women in this small trial, the researchers suggest that there should be larger trials comparing immunotherapy with surgery to remove vulval intraepithelial neoplasia.
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
Professor H Kitchener
University of Manchester
Wigan and District Cancer Research Committee