Results of a phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Polyphenon E in women with persistent high-risk HPV infection and low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Feb;132(2):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.12.034. Epub 2014 Jan 2.


Objective: In vitro data and pilot data suggest that green tea catechins may possess chemopreventive activity for cervical cancer and precursor lesions. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Polyphenon E (decaffeinated and enriched green tea catechin extract) in women with persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN1) to evaluate the potential of Polyphenon E for cervical cancer prevention.

Methods: Ninety-eight eligible women were randomized to receive either Polyphenon E (containing 800 mg epigallocatechin gallate) or placebo once daily for 4 months. The primary study outcome was oncogenic HPV clearance and clearance of CIN1.

Results: Polyphenon E was shown to be acceptable, safe and well tolerated. There was no difference in the response rate by treatment allocation. Complete response, defined as negative for high-risk HPV and normal histopathology, was noted in 7 (17.1%) and 6 (14.6%) women in the Polyphenon E and placebo arms, respectively. Progression, defined as persistent oncogenic HPV with histopathologic evidence of progression, was more common in the Polyphenon E group than in the placebo group [6 (14.6%) vs. 3 (7.7%)].

Conclusion: Based on the largest randomized placebo-controlled trial of a green tea extract for HPV related cervical disease, we conclude that 4 months of Polyphenon E intervention did not promote the clearance of persistent high-risk HPV and related CIN1. Further studies may be necessary to better delineate the risk factors for persistent HPV infection and biology of the disease to facilitate the evaluation of chemopreventive strategies.

Trial registration: NCT00303823.

Keywords: Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; HPV infection; Polyphenon E.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Placebo Effect
  • Tea / chemistry
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Young Adult


  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • polyphenon E

Associated data