Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chemoprevention of cervical cancer with folic acid: a phase III Southwest Oncology Group Intergroup study.

  • Author(s): Childers, J M
  • Chu, J
  • Voigt, L F
  • Feigl, P
  • Tamimi, H K
  • Franklin, E W
  • Alberts, D S
  • Meyskens, F L, Jr
  • et al.
Abstract

Several epidemiological reports and experimental investigations have suggested a preventive role for folic acid in the etiology of cervical cancer. The effect of p.o. folic acid supplementation on the natural history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) was evaluated in a multiinstitutional prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Three hundred thirty-one women with biopsy-proven koilocytic atypia, mild CIN, or moderate CIN were randomized to receive oral folic acid (5 mg) or a similar-appearing placebo daily for 6 months following a 1-month run-in placebo period. Colposcopy, Papanicolaou smear, and serum vitamin levels (folate, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and retinyl palmitate) were monitored every 3 months. Demographic, medical, dietary, and sexual history data were obtained from personal interviews. The primary end point of the study was improvement in both Papanicolaou smear and colposcopic picture after 3 and 6 months of treatment as compared to the start of treatment. After 6 months of treatment there was no significant difference between the two study groups in the percentage of patients improved. Median serum folate levels in the treatment arm at 3 and 6 months (29.0 and 20.0 micrograms/dl) were significantly higher than those in the placebo arm (7.8 and 7.1 micrograms/dl, respectively). Mean serum levels of retinol, retinyl palmitate, alpha-tocopherol, and beta-carotene did not differ significantly between the two treatment arms. Our data support the conclusion that supplementation with folic acid (5 mg/day) does not enhance the regression of early epithelial abnormalities of the cervix.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View