The randomized phase of the trial compared 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.
The ANCHOR Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) determined that the primary study endpoint was completed, based on the data and statistical analysis presented to them on 07SEP2021.
In the post-randomization phase of this trial, all enrolled participants are offered treatment for HSIL and/or follow-up, at the participant's choice.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study has been completed for efficacy.
- To determine the effectiveness of treating anal HSIL to reduce the incidence of anal cancer in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected men and women.
- To determine the safety of infrared coagulation (IRC), electrocautery, imiquimod, laser and 5- fluorouracil treatments for anal HSIL.
II. To assess the responsiveness (sensitivity to change) and clinical significance of the ANCHOR Health-Related Symptom Index (A-HRSI) subscales by comparing change scores within groups of participants as defined by participant responses to the participant global impression of change (PGIC) item. (completed FEB2020)
Collect clinical specimens and data to create a bank of well-annotated specimens that will enable correlative science:
- Identification of viral factors in HSIL progression to cancer; II. Identification of host factors in HSIL progression to cancer; III. Identify host and viral biomarkers of progression from HSIL to cancer; IV. Identify medical history and behavioral risk factors for HSIL progression to cancer.
QUALITY OF LIFE OBJECTIVES (completed FEB2022) I. Primary QOL Objective: To compare arms in terms of changes in physical symptoms and impacts from T2 to T3, adjusting for T1.
ANCILLARY (COVID SUPPLEMENT) SUBSTUDY OBJECTIVES:
- Determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 detection in anal and oropharyngeal swabs among people living with HIV (PLWH) being screened for and enrolled in the ANCHOR study.
II. Determine the relationship between prevalent anal SARS-CoV-2 positivity, anal HPV infection, and anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL).
III. Determine the 6-month incidence of SARS-CoV-2 detection in anal and oropharyngeal swabs among participants in the active monitoring arm being assessed for the first time for treatment and individuals already enrolled in the COVID substudy under protocol version 15.0.
IV. Determine the relationship between prevalent or incident SARS-CoV-2 detection and regression of anal HPV infection or HSIL among active monitoring arm participants already enrolled in the COVID substudy under protocol version 15.0, and those who continue the protocol and who choose not to be treated at visit 101.
OUTLINE: The randomized strategy to study the efficacy of HSIL treatment to reduce the risk of progression to anal cancer, as compared to active monitoring, was discontinued for all participants.
Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms. (accrual closed SEP2021)
ARM I: Patients are directed to receive either topical or ablative treatment at the discretion of the clinician. Patients receiving topical treatment apply topical imiquimod intra-anally, peri-anally or both thrice weekly for up to 16 weeks, or topical 5-fluorouracil twice daily for 5 days every 2 weeks for up to 16 weeks. Patients receiving ablative treatment using infrared coagulation, hyfrecation/electrocautery, or laser. 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.
ARM II: Patients undergo active monitoring with HRA examinations and anal cytology every 6 months. Every 12 months, patients undergo biopsies of visible lesions.
Participants on both arms are to be followed for up to 5 years after randomization of the last participant.
Post-randomization phase: Individuals in the treatment arm may continue treatment, and participants in the active monitoring arm are offered treatment. If upon assessment participants continue to have HSIL but do not intend to get treatment, they will be monitored for the potential for disease progression to anal cancer.