The Paget Trial: A Multicenter, Observational Cohort Intervention Study for the Clinical Efficacy, Safety, and Immunological Response of Topical 5% Imiquimod Cream for Vulvar Paget Disease

Michelle van der Linden*, Kim Meeuwis, Colette van Hees, Eleonora van Dorst, Johan Bulten, Tjalling Bosse, Joanna IntHout, Dorry Boll, Brigitte Slangen, Manon van Seters, Marc van Beurden, Mariette van Poelgeest, Joanne de Hullu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Vulvar Paget disease is a rare skin disorder, which is most common in postmenopausal Caucasian women. They usually present with an erythematous plaque that may show fine or typical "cake icing" scaling or ulceration that may cause itching, pain, irritation, or a burning sensation. Although most cases are noninvasive, vulvar Paget disease may be invasive or associated with an underlying vulvar or distant adenocarcinoma. The histological evidence of so-called "Paget cells" with abundant pale cytoplasm in the epithelium confirms the diagnosis. The origin of these Paget cells is still unclear. Treatment of choice is wide local excision with negative margins. Obtaining clear surgical margins is challenging and may lead to extensive and mutilating surgery. Even then, recurrence rates are high, ranging from 15% to 70%, which emphasizes the need for new treatment options. A number of case reports, retrospective case series, and one observational study have shown promising results using the topical immune response modifier imiquimod.

Objective: This study aims to investigate the efficacy, safety, and immunological response in patients with noninvasive vulvar Paget disease using a standardized treatment schedule with 5% imiquimod cream.

Methods: Topical 5% imiquimod cream might be an effective and safe treatment alternative for vulvar Paget disease. The Paget Trial is a multicenter observational cohort study including eight tertiary referral hospitals in the Netherlands. It is ethically approved by the Medical-Ethical Committee of Arnhem-Nijmegen and registered in the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO) Register by as NL51648.091.14. Twenty patients with (recurrent) noninvasive vulvar Paget disease will be treated with topical 5% imiquimod cream three times a week for 16 weeks. The primary efficacy outcome is the reduction in lesion size at 12 weeks after end of treatment. Secondary outcomes are safety, immunological response, and quality of life. Safety will be assessed by evaluation of adverse events and tolerability of treatment. To evaluate the immunological response, various immunological markers will be tested on biopsy specimens taken before, during, and after treatment. Quality of life will be assessed with three questionnaires taken before, during, and after treatment.

Results: First results are expected in the summer of 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number178
Number of pages8
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Paget disease
  • extramammary Paget disease
  • vulvar Paget disease
  • imiquimod

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