Treatment of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: Patients Preferences for Surgery or Immunotherapy with Imiquimod

Margot M. Koeneman*, Brigitte A. Essers, Cornelis G. Gerestein, Anna J. M. van de Sande, Rogier J. N. T. M. Litjens, Dieuwke Boskamp, Medi F. J. Goossens, Heleen J. Beekhuizen, Roy F. P. M. Kruitwagen, Arnold J. Kruse, Carmen D. Dirksen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Imiquimod has been studied as a noninvasive pharmacological treatment alternative to large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), to prevent long-term obstetric complications from surgical treatment. This study aims to investigate womens' preferences for treatment of high-grade CIN with imiquimod or LLETZ. A labeled discrete choice experiment was conducted among 100 women with abnormal cervical cytology in 5 hospitals in the Netherlands between March 2014 and December 2015. Participants were asked to choose between imiquimod treatment or standard surgical treatment in 9 separate scenarios, based on the following treatment characteristics: treatment success rate, rate of side effects, risk of premature birth in subsequent pregnancies, and risk of subfertility after treatment. The levels of these characteristics differed for the imiquimod alternatives. Women assigned a positive utility to LLETZ compared with imiquimod. When making a choice for imiquimod, women preferred a higher treatment success rate and a lower risk of premature birth, infertility and side effects. The choice for imiquimod treatment was also influenced by the intention of a future pregnancy. Subgroup analyses revealed that a lower efficacy regarding imiquimod might be more acceptable for women who desired a future pregnancy compared with women who did not desire a future pregnancy. Women with a future pregnancy wish may prefer treatment of high-grade CIN with imiquimod cream over LLETZ, if the risk of subfertility and premature birth is low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • treatment
  • imiquimod
  • patient preferences

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