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Medical interventions for high-grade vulval intraepithelial neoplasia

Lookup NU author(s): Andrew Bryant


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BackgroundThis is an updated version of a review first published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4, in 2011. Vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) is a pre-cancerous condition of the vulval skin and its incidence is increasing in women under 50 years. High-grade VIN (also called usual-type VIN (uVIN) or VIN 2/3 or high-grade vulval intraepithelial lesion) is associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and may progress to vulval cancer, therefore is usually actively managed. There is no consensus on the optimal management of high-grade VIN; and the high morbidity and relapse rates associated with surgical interventions make less invasive interventions highly desirable.ObjectivesTo evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medical (non-surgical) interventions for high-grade VIN.Search methodsWe searched the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 3), MEDLINE and EMBASE (up to 30 March 2015). We also searched registers of clinical trials, abstracts of scientific meetings, reference lists of included studies and contacted experts in the field.Selection criteriaRandomised controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed non-surgical interventions in women diagnosed with high-grade VIN.Data collection and analysisWe used Cochrane methodology with two review authors independently abstracting data and assessing risk of bias. Where possible, we synthesised data in meta-analyses using random effects methods.Main resultsFive trials involving 297 women with high-grade VIN (defined by trial investigators as VIN 2/3 or VIN 3 or 'high-grade' lesions) met our inclusion criteria: three trials assessed the effectiveness of topical imiquimod versus placebo; one assessed topical cidofovir versus topical imiquimod; and one assessed low-versus high-dose indole-3-carbinol in similar types of participants. Three trials were at a moderate to low risk of bias, two were at a potentially high risk of bias.Meta-analysis of the three trials comparing topical imiquimod 5% cream to placebo found that women in the active treatment group were more likely to show an overall response (complete and partial response) to treatment at five to six months compared with the placebo group (Risk Ratio (RR) 11.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.21 to 44.51; participants = 104; studies = 3; I-2 = 0%; high-quality evidence). A complete response at five to six months occurred in 36/62 (58%) and 0/42 (0%) participants in the active and placebo groups, respectively (RR 14.40, 95% CI 2.97 to 69.80; participants = 104; studies = 3; I-2 = 0%). A single trial reported 12-month follow-up, which revealed a sustained effect in overall response in favour of the active treatment arm at 12 months (RR 9.10, 95% CI 2.38 to 34.77; moderate-quality evidence), with 9/24 (38%) and 0/23 (0%) complete responses recorded in the active and placebo groups respectively. Progression to vulval cancer was also documented in this trial (one versus two participants in the active and placebo groups, respectively) and we assessed this evidence as low-quality. Only one trial reported adverse events, including erythema, erosion, pain and pruritis at the site of the lesion, which were more common in the imiquimod group. Dose reductions occurred more frequently in the active treatment group compared with the placebo group (19/47 versus 1/36 participants; RR 7.77, 95% CI 1.61 to 37.36; participants = 83; studies = 2; I-2 = 0%; high-quality evidence). Only one trial reported quality of life (QoL) and there were no significant differences between the imiquimod and placebo groups.For the imiquimod versus cidofovir trial, 180 women contributed data. The overall response at six months was similar for the imiquimod and cidofovir treatment groups with 52/91 (57%) versus 55/89 (62%) participants responding, respectively (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.18). A complete response occurred in 41 women i

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bryant A; Pepas L; Kaushik S; Nordin A; Lawrie TA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Year: 2015

Issue: 8

Online publication date: 18/08/2015

ISSN (print): 1469-493X

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6137



DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007924.pub3