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Long-term administration of intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone on regression of low-grade cervical dysplasia–a pilot study

Although many dysplastic cervical lesions regress spontaneously, treatment is common due to concern for progression. Lesions persist or progress in women whose immune systems are unable to clear infection by human papillomavirus (HPV). Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an adrenal steroid that has both immune modulatory and tumor inhibitory activity. A pilot study was conducted to examine the feasibility, safety and potential efficacy of intravaginal DHEA in women with low-grade cervical dysplasia. Twelve women with low-grade dysplasia, confirmed by colposcopic exam, were given 150 mg of intravaginal micronized DHEA daily for up to 6 months. Follow-up evaluations of the cervix were done at 3 and 6 months of use. DHEA, DHEA-S, androstenedione and testosterone levels were also measured. By the end of the study period, 10 of the 12 women (83%) had no evidence of dysplasia; the remaining 2 had normal colposcopic exams but cytology showing atypical cells of undetermined significance. There were no serious side effects. Androstenedione levels were elevated at 3 months, whereas testosterone levels were unchanged over the course of treatment. The results suggest that intravaginal DHEA is safe and well tolerated and may promote regression of low-grade cervical lesions. Further study is needed to establish efficacy.

Authors: Suh-Burgmann E; Sivret J; Duska LR; Del Carmen M; Seiden MV

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2003;55(1):25-31.

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