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Trial record 1 of 2 for:    HPV-SAVE: Screening and treatment of high-grade anal dysplasia in HIV+ MSM
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The HPV-SAVE Study Team: HPV Screening and Vaccine Evaluation in Men Who Have Sex With Men (HPV-SAVE)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02503111
Recruitment Status : Terminated (

Results from ANCHOR study showed benefit of Treatment over Surveillance in preventing anal cancer.

That study was similar to the current one.

First Posted : July 20, 2015
Last Update Posted : June 13, 2022
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Ontario HIV Treatment Network
CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Irving Salit, University Health Network, Toronto

Brief Summary:

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Infection by certain high-risk oncogenic types of HPV (HR-HPV) is the major cause of several cancers in men, notably squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the anal canal. Rates of anal infection with these HR-HPV strains and the resultant high-grade anal dysplasia and anal cancer are much higher in men who have sex with men (MSM) than in the general population. Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) further amplifies this burden, making the rates of anal SCC in HIV-positive MSM higher than the historic rates of cervical cancer prior to the adoption of routine cervical cytology screening. Despite these alarming statistics, there are no established protocols for optimal screening and treatment of anal HPV and cancer precursors, nor has there been any widespread rollout of organized screening programs anywhere in Canada. Further, not only does HPV directly cause significant disease in these men, but there is growing epidemiologic evidence that HPV infection may enhance sexual transmission of HIV. These significant knowledge gaps translate into fundamental deficiencies in care for HIV-positive MSM.

The HPV Screening and Vaccine Evaluation in MSM (HPV-SAVE) study team will recruit a large group of MSM from various Ontario and Vancouver clinics, in order to carry out a number of different studies. The HPV-SAVE team brings together community and internationally-recognized experts in HPV and HIV disease and mucosal immunology, to better define the optimal approaches for primary and secondary prevention and treatment of HPV-associated anal disease among HIV-positive MSM, and to explore biological mechanistic evidence regarding the potential role of HPV as a co-factor for HIV transmission. This will yield critical information which can lead to improvement in the health of MSM, and will provide a foundation on which to build further, large-scale screening and treatment trials on a national level. The primary aim of the current study is to systematically compare ablative therapy versus intensive observation alone (also known as 'watchful waiting') in outcomes relating to high-grade anal dysplasia.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Anal Dysplasia Human Papillomavirus Anal Cancer Device: The Hyfrecator ® 2000 Electrosurgical System Other: Observation Alone Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Since the 1990s, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has markedly reduced HIV-related opportunistic infections and mortality [1], and increased the life expectancy of people living with HIV [2]. While acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining malignancies have declined [3,4], non-AIDS defining malignancies continue to occur at higher rates in HIV-infected persons than in the general population [4]. Amongst these are cancers associated with HPV which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers (itself a well-established AIDS-defining illness), and an estimated 90% of SCC of the anal canal [5]. cART not only fails to protect against anal pre-cancers and cancers [4,6,7], but the incidence of anal SCC is increasing in the cART era [6,8]. Because of this increasing burden of disease, there is an urgent need to find effective ways of preventing anal SCC in those living with HIV. This includes screening for anal cancer precursors and ablative treatment of these lesions.

Though it is infrequent at a rate of 1 per 100 000, anal SCC is on the rise in the general population [9]. It occurs at significantly higher rates in HIV-positive men - particularly among men who have sex with men (MSM) - with an estimated rate of 60 to 160 per 100 000 [4], and no evidence of slowing in the era of increased cART use [10] (See Figure 1). In fact, rates of anal cancer among HIV-infected MSM are comparable to rates of cervical cancer in women prior to the adoption of routine screening for cervical dysplasia [11]. According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, rates of cervical cancer in 1972 were 18 per 100 000, dropping to just under 8 per 100 000 in 2004 [12]. In addition to its etiologic association with HPV, anal cancer shares many similarities with cervical cancer. Both are squamous cell cancers occurring at the squamocolumnar junction [13,14] and both likely arise from histologically-similar dysplastic precursor lesions [15,16]. It is postulated that a critical step in anal cancer carcinogenesis is the establishment of persistent infection with oncogenic HPV in the anal canal [16]. Though the majority of HPV infections are considered transient and will eventually clear even in HIV-positive individuals [17], HIV-positive individuals have higher rates of persistent infection, especially with oncogenic HPV types [18].

Of the greater than 170 HPV types, over 50 favour the anogenital area and, on the basis of epidemiologic and phylogenetic data, these have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer [19]. The vast majority of anal cancers (as well as cervical cancers) are caused by two high-risk HPV types: HPV type 16 and HPV type 18 which are responsible for 66% and 5% of anal cancers, respectively [20]. HPV lesions caused by low-risk HPV (LR-HPV) types include condylomata (commonly known as 'genital warts'), of which 90% are caused by HPV types 6 and 11 [21]. Prevention strategies for anal cancers have emerged that are analogous to strategies used in cervical cancer screening, in that the aim is to identify precursor lesions which can then be removed before progression to cancer. Screening and detection rely on a combination of anal cytology (Papanicolaou, or Pap smear), anal HPV detection and high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) which is analogous to colposcopy). Visually-directed anal biopsy during HRA is considered the gold standard for detecting dysplastic lesions such as high-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN; typically graded as AIN-2 or -3) [16,22]. Anal cytology is generally used as a screening test to determine whether HRA is needed; however, cytology is an imperfect predictor of intra-anal HGAIN. Despite the clear evidence indicating the benefit of screening and treatment procedures in cervical cancer screening, no large rigorous studies have been performed to assess such strategies in anal cancer prevention in men or women.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 71 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Controlled, Open-label Trial Examining the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Ablative Therapies for High-grade Anal Dysplasia Versus Observation Alone in HIV-positive Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM)
Study Start Date : November 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 1, 2021
Actual Study Completion Date : April 14, 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: HIV/AIDS

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Ablative therapy
Ablative therapy involving electrocautery (EC) will occur for participants with AIN-2 and AIN-3. The Hyfrecator ® 2000 Electrosurgical System will be used for EC therapy.
Device: The Hyfrecator ® 2000 Electrosurgical System
Lesion is ablated by the The Hyfrecator ® 2000 Electrosurgical System. During electrocautery (EC) with The Hyfrecator, a gentle brushing technique occurs and the tissue is removed with forceps.
Other Name: EC

Active Comparator: Active Surveillance
The control arm includes active surveillance with observation alone; no treatment in AIN-2 and -3.
Other: Observation Alone
No treatment to AIN-2 or AIN-3, only active surveillance.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Anal dysplasia treatment on a per-patient basis [ Time Frame: Participants will be followed after post-treatment completion, an expected average of 6 months ]
    Histologic resolution of high-grade AIN after treatment completion, with ablative therapies or surveillance alone. Resolution of high-grade AIN will be defined as histologic diagnosis of AIN-1 or normal at the post treatment HRA.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Resolution of high-grade AIN at 3 and 6 months after randomization, on a per-lesion basis [ Time Frame: Participants will be followed after post-treatment completion, an expected average of 6 months ]
    Resolution of high-grade AIN after treatment on a per-lesion basis. Histologic resolution of high-grade AIN after treatment completion, with ablative therapies or surveillance alone. Resolution of high-grade AIN will be defined as histologic diagnosis of AIN-1 or normal at the post treatment HRA.

  2. Recurrence rates of high-grade AIN [ Time Frame: Participants will be followed post-treatment completion, at 12, 24 and 36 months after randomization ]
    Recurrence rates of high-grade AIN following ablative therapy on a per lesion basis.

  3. Number of participants with adverse events [ Time Frame: Participants will be followed after post-treatment completion, an expected average of 36 months ]
    Number of participants assessed on safety, tolerability and acceptability of the different intervention arms and the different treatments in the ablative therapies arms. Evaluation of adverse events and questionnaire-assessed acceptability by intervention arms and ablative treatment type.

  4. Acceptability of treatment [ Time Frame: Within 6 months of randomization ]
    Questionnaire-assessed acceptability by intervention arm

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Males, aged ≥18 years at baseline;
  • Identify as a man who has sex with a men (MSM);
  • HIV-positive; laboratory documentation of HIV-1 infection;
  • For those on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the participant must be on a stable regimen;
  • An ability to give informed consent;
  • An ability to attend clinic for follow-up, including possible HRA and biopsy;
  • AIN-2 or -3 found on biopsy of anal canal lesion(s);
  • Willingness to be randomized to undergo ablative therapy or active surveillance.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current or prior history of cancer of the anogenital regions (e.g. penile, anal, or rectal).;
  • Previous treatment of high grade dysplasia;

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 ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02503111

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Canada, British Columbia
BC Centre for Disease Control
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5Z 4R4
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z4
Canada, Ontario
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1Y 4E9
University Health Network - Toronto General Hospital
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 2C4
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Health Network, Toronto
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Ontario HIV Treatment Network
CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC
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Principal Investigator: Irving Salit, MD Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network
Public Health Agency of Canada. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd- mc/cancer/cervical_cancer_figures-cancer_du_col_uterus-eng.php. Accessed on: 28 July 2014.

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Responsible Party: Irving Salit, Immunodeficiency Clinic Director, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02503111    
Other Study ID Numbers: CTN 292B
First Posted: July 20, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 13, 2022
Last Verified: June 2022
Keywords provided by Irving Salit, University Health Network, Toronto:
Human immunodeficiency virus
Anal intraepithelial neoplasia
Anal cancer
High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
Ablative therapy
Men who have sex with men
Human papillomavirus
Squamous cell carcinoma
High-resolution anoscopy
High-risk oncogenic
Intraepithelial lesion
Low-risk non-oncogenic
Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
Infrared coagulation
Active surveillance
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Anus Neoplasms
Anus Diseases
Rectal Neoplasms
Colorectal Neoplasms
Intestinal Neoplasms
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Intestinal Diseases
Rectal Diseases