Evaluation of topically applied trans-retinoic acid in the treatment of cervical intraepithelial lesions

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Aug 1;143(7):821-3. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(82)90016-3.


The prevention and/or suppression of preneoplastic foci in animals has been convincingly demonstrated with the use of a variety of compounds, including retinoids. We report here a phase I/II trial of beta-trans-retinoic acid delivered via a collagen sponge/diaphragm insert for neoplasia of the cervix. Eighteen patients with biopsy-proved grades 2 and 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia underwent four consecutive daily applications of trans-retinoic aicd to the cervix. Conization of the cervix was performed 4 weeks later. Significant vaginal toxicity in 10 of 18 (55%) patients was unrelated to the concentration or carrying media of the drug. A reduction in size of the intraepithelial lesion was noted by colposcopy in six of 18 (33%) patients with complete resolution of disease at conization in two patients. A new delivery system designed to avoid vaginal toxicity while defining the optimal concentration and dosing schedule for these patients is currently under investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Cervix Uteri / surgery
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Collagen
  • Colposcopy
  • Contraceptive Devices
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage*
  • Tretinoin / adverse effects
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vagina / drug effects


  • Tretinoin
  • Collagen