TOPical Imiquimod treatment of residual or recurrent cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (TOPIC-2 trial): a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

A. J. M. van de Sande*, M. M. Koeneman, C. G. Gerestein, A. J. Kruse, F. J. van Kemenade, H. J. van Beekhuizen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Cervical dysplasia (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)) is caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and is most common in women of reproductive age. Current treatment of moderate to severe CIN is surgical. This procedure has potential complications, such as haemorrhage, infection and preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies. Moreover, 15% of women treated for high grade CIN develop residual/recurrent CIN or cervical cancer after surgical excision. Finally, 75-100% of patients with a residual and recurrent CIN 2-3 lesion are still HPV positive. They could possibly benefit from an alternative medical treatment, which aims to eliminate HPV. The primary study objective is to evaluate the effectivity of imiquimod 5% cream compared to treatment with Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone (LLETZ) for recurrent/residual CIN. Methods/design: This study is a multicentre, non-inferiority randomized single blinded study. The study population consists of female patients with histological proven residual/recurrent CIN after previous surgical treatment. Four hundred thirty-three patients will be included in the Netherlands. The first 35 patients will be included in a pilot study to prove non-futility. Included patients will be randomized to receive either 5% imiquimod cream or LLETZ treatment. Imiquimod will be inserted three times a week intravaginally for a period of 16 weeks using a vaginal applicator. Ten weeks after the end of imiquimod treatment a biopsy will be taken for treatment response. In case of progressive or stable disease a LLETZ will be performed. At 12 and 24 months after the start of treatment cytology will be taken for follow up. The LLETZ group will be treated according to the current guidelines. Throughout the study, HPV typing and quality of life will be tested. Discussion: Repeated LLETZ in women with residual/recurrent CIN lesions has complications. We would like to possibly offer alternative treatment in a selected group to avoid these risks. Moreover, we monitor treatment efficacy, side effects and long-term recurrence rates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number655
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


  • Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Imiquimod
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Quality of life
  • Dysplasia cervix
  • Transformation zone
  • RISK
  • LEEP


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