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Topical or Ablative Treatment in Preventing Anal Cancer in Patients With HIV and Anal High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (ANCHOR)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02135419
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : May 12, 2014
Last Update Posted : October 18, 2021
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
The Emmes Company, LLC
University of Arkansas
University of California, San Francisco
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
AIDS Malignancy Consortium

Brief Summary:
This randomized phase III trial compares topical or ablative treatment with active monitoring in preventing anal cancer in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL). Anal HSIL is tissue in the anal canal that has been damaged by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and is at risk for turning into anal cancer. It is not yet known if treating HSIL is more effective than active monitoring in preventing patients from developing anal cancer.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Anal Cancer High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion HIV Infection Human Papilloma Virus Infection Drug: imiquimod Drug: fluorouracil Device: infrared photocoagulation therapy Device: thermal ablation therapy Device: laser therapy Other: clinical observation Other: laboratory biomarker analysis Phase 3

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 5058 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: ANCHOR Study: Anal Cancer/HSIL Outcomes Research Study
Actual Study Start Date : September 24, 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 18, 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : June 30, 2027

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Arm I (treatment)
Patients are directed to receive either topical or ablative treatment at the discretion of the clinician. Patients receiving topical treatment apply imiquimod intra-anally, peri-anally or both thrice weekly for up to 16 weeks, fluorouracil twice daily for 5 days every 2 weeks for up to 16 weeks, or trichloroacetic acid every 3 weeks up to 12 weeks. Patients receiving ablative treatment using infrared photocoagulation therapy, hyfrecation/electrocautery (thermal ablation therapy), or laser therapy. Patients may undergo excision under anesthesia if the clinician believes none of the other treatment approaches will be effective. The number and timing of such treatments will be at the discretion of the investigator. Patients with persistent HSIL should continue a protocol-approved treatment or a new protocol treatment should be considered. All participants will have samples collected for laboratory biomarker analysis.
Drug: imiquimod
Applied topically
Other Names:
  • Aldara
  • IMQ
  • R 837

Drug: fluorouracil
Applied topically
Other Names:
  • 5-fluorouracil
  • 5-Fluracil
  • 5-FU

Device: infrared photocoagulation therapy
Undergo infrared coagulation
Other Names:
  • infrared coagulation
  • IRC

Device: thermal ablation therapy
Undergo hyfrecation/electrocautery therapy

Device: laser therapy
Undergo laser therapy
Other Name: therapy, laser

Other: laboratory biomarker analysis
Correlative studies

Active Comparator: Arm II (active monitoring)
Patients undergo active monitoring with examinations for clinical observation every 6 months. Every 12 months, patients undergo biopsies of visible lesions. Patients have cytology sampling performed at every visit. All participants will have samples collected for laboratory biomarker analysis.
Other: clinical observation
Undergo active monitoring
Other Name: observation

Other: laboratory biomarker analysis
Correlative studies

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Time to anal cancer [ Time Frame: Time from randomization to diagnosis of anal cancer, assessed up to 5 years ]
    The log-rank test will be used to compare the treatment and control arms with respect to time to detection of anal cancer. For each arm, the hazard rate and its 95% confidence interval will be estimated. The proportional hazards model will be used to assess the association of study site, lesion size, lesion location, nadir CD4 level and gender with time to detection of anal cancer.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Incidence of adverse events for each treatment [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ]
    Summarized by type of adverse event and severity grade for each of the treatments. For adverse events that occur in more than 5% of any of the treatments, the Poisson rates will be used to estimate the number of adverse events per unit time and the binomial proportion and its 95% confidence interval will be used to estimate the proportion of participants who reported the event.

  2. Quality of life assessed using the Functional Assessment of Incontinence Therapy - Fecal (FAIT-F) questionnaire [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ]
    Descriptive statistics will be used for subscales and scores for each arm and each time point. General estimating equations will be used to compare the two arms with respect to subscales and scores across time points and adjustment for intra-participant variability.

Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Viral factors in HSIL progression to cancer [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ]
    Descriptive statistics will be used to describe the integration locus of HPV In the invasive cancers and whether they differ from those of the overlying HSIL. Descriptive statistics will also be used to determine if the loci differ in HSIL that have progressed and concurrent HSIL biopsies that did not progress. In each case only tissues that contain HPV 16 will be analyzed.

  2. Host factors in HSIL progression to cancer [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ]
    Linear models will be fitted for each gene. Moderated t-statistics, fold-change and the associated p values will be calculated for each gene. Since thousands of genes will be tested, false discovery rate (FDR)-adjusted values will be calculated using the Benjamini-Hochberg method. FDR values indicate the expected fraction of falsely declared differentially expressed (DE) genes among the total set of declared DE genes, i.e. FDR = 0.15 would indicate that 15% of the declared DE genes were expected to be false due to experimental noise instead of actual differential expression.

  3. Host and viral biomarkers of progression from HSIL to cancer [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ]
  4. Behavioral risk factors for HSIL progression to cancer [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years ]
    For each risk factor of interest, Fisher's exact test or Pearson's chi-square test will be used to determine if there is an association. Factors associated with invasive anal cancer at the 0.10 significance level will be incorporated into a logistic regression model to determine if they are independently associated with invasive anal cancer. Cox regression analyses will also be used to evaluate the association between risk factors and time to diagnosis of invasive anal cancer.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   35 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV-1 infection, as documented by any federally approved, licensed HIV test performed in conjunction with screening (or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA], test kit, and confirmed by western blot or other approved test); alternatively, this documentation may include a record that another physician has documented that the participant has HIV infection based on prior ELISA and western blot, or other approved diagnostic tests; an approved antibody test will be used to confirm diagnosis; if the physician is treating a patient with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) with a history of HIV positivity based on an approved antibody test then repeat antibody confirmation is not necessary
  • No history of treatment or removal of HSIL
  • No history of anal cancer or signs of anal cancer at baseline, and no history of penile, vulvar, vaginal or cervical cancer
  • Biopsy-proven HSIL at baseline
  • At least one focus of HSIL must be identified that is not within a condyloma that may be treated after enrollment into the study
  • For females, cervical cytology (if having a cervix) and gynecologic evaluation including vulvar examination within 12 months prior to enrollment
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status =< 1 (Karnofsky >= 70%)
  • Life expectancy of greater than 5 years
  • Absolute neutrophil count: >= 750/mm^3
  • Platelets: >= 75,000/mm^3
  • Hemoglobin >= 9.0 g/dL
  • Women of childbearing potential must have a negative urine pregnancy test within 7 days of initiating study treatment if they have been randomized to the treatment arm; all women of childbearing potential must agree to use a reliable birth control method (oral contraceptive pills, intrauterine device, Nexplanon, DepoProvera, or permanent sterilization, etc., or another acceptable method as determined by the investigator) during the entire period of the trial (5 years), and must not intend to become pregnant during study participation and for 3 months after treatment is discontinued; all participants must be willing to comply with an acceptable birth control regimen as determined by the Investigator
  • Men randomized to the treatment arm should not father a baby while in this study; men who could father a child should use at least two forms of birth control for 3 months after stopping all study treatment
  • Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document
  • Participant is willing to be randomized and able to comply with the protocol
  • Clinician is comfortable with either following patient for up to 5 years without therapy or treating patient for up to 5 years

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inability to provide informed consent
  • Patients who are receiving any other immunomodulatory investigational agents within the 4 weeks before randomization enrollment, other than investigational antiretroviral agents for HIV
  • History of anal cancer, penile, vulvar, vaginal or cervical cancer
  • History of prior treatment or removal of anal HSIL
  • Participant has symptoms related to HSIL and would benefit more from immediate treatment than from entry into the study and potential for randomization to active monitoring arm
  • Current systemic chemotherapy or radiation therapy that potentially causes bone marrow suppression that would preclude safe treatment of HSIL
  • History of HPV vaccination, or intention to receive an HPV vaccine during study participation
  • Prior pelvic radiation therapy that would preclude radiation therapy if anal cancer develops
  • Warts so extensive that they preclude the clinician from determining the extent and location of HSIL
  • Participant plans to relocate away from the study site during study participation

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02135419

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Sponsors and Collaborators
AIDS Malignancy Consortium
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
The Emmes Company, LLC
University of Arkansas
University of California, San Francisco
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Principal Investigator: Joel Palefsky, MD AIDS Malignancy Consortium
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: AIDS Malignancy Consortium Identifier: NCT02135419    
Other Study ID Numbers: AMC-A01
NCI-2014-00636 ( Registry Identifier: CTRP (Clinical Trial Reporting Program) )
AMC-A01 ( Other Identifier: AIDS - Associated Malignancies Clinical Trials Consortium )
AMC-A01 ( Other Identifier: CTEP )
U01CA121947 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 12, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 18, 2021
Last Verified: October 2021

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: Yes
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Communicable Diseases
Papillomavirus Infections
Anus Neoplasms
Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions of the Cervix
Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
Carcinoma in Situ
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes
Virus Diseases
Neoplasms, Squamous Cell
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Rectal Neoplasms
Colorectal Neoplasms
Intestinal Neoplasms
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Intestinal Diseases
Anus Diseases
Rectal Diseases
Uterine Cervical Dysplasia
Precancerous Conditions
Uterine Cervical Diseases
Uterine Diseases