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CSP #562 - The VA Keratinocyte Carcinoma Chemoprevention Trial

Phase 4
Open (Enrolling)
Carcinoma, Basal Cell, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Skin Neoplasms, Skin Diseases, Neoplasms, Basal Cell, Neoplasms, Squamous Cell, Carcinoma

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Trial Information

CSP #562 - The VA Keratinocyte Carcinoma Chemoprevention Trial

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin, both of which are
keratinocyte carcinomas (KCs), account for a half of all cancers in the United States, and
over 100,000 diagnoses per year in the VA. The standard treatment for these KCs is excision
of the lesion, and they cost the US health care system some $2.5 billion annually and about
$100 million annually in the VA. There is no proven means to prevent KCs (except perhaps for
a modest benefit of intensive daily sunscreen use). An effective prevention strategy would
dramatically change the way high-risk patients are managed and could substantially reduce
the costs of care. Our preliminary analysis indicates that the savings will be $116 per
high-risk patient and will account for a total national savings of over $11 million. These
findings imply that the study would pay for itself by the end of 4 years. We hypothesize
that topical 5-fluourouracil (5-FU) chemoprevention will prevent skin cancer surgeries and
will be cost-saving. To test this we propose a randomized controlled trial of 5-FU compared
to a vehicle control to the face and ears in a high-risk population.

In the study, 1000 veterans at high-risk of skin cancer defined as at least 2 KCs in the
prior 5 years, at least one of which was on the face or ears, will be randomized to 5-FU or
a vehicle control cream, and followed for 2 to 4 years. The primary endpoint will be surgery
for any KC on the face and ears. We will also assess the cost of care, quality of life, the
side effects associated with treatment, and the prevalence and number of actinic keratoses,
a skin cancer precursor and itself a cause of morbidity and cost. By targeting patients at
high-risk, the study focuses on high-cost patients for whom this treatment could both
improve outcomes (cancers and quality of life) and reduce costs.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Veteran who is at high risk for developing skin cancer defined as 2 keratinocyte
carcinomas in the past 5 years, at least one of which was located on the face or ears

Exclusion Criteria:

- Participants who are unable to speak English

- Participants with KC at randomization

- Participants currently using or having used field therapy for AKs on the face or ears
in the past 3 years. The vast majority of these field treatments would have been with
5-FU cream. We will allow recent use of therapies that are applied to individual AK
lesions (e.g. cryotherapy), but not those that were used on an entire area (field) in
the study treatment area Participants currently using or having used systemic
5-fluorouracil or oral capecitabine (Xeloda) within the past 3 years Participants
with known allergy to sunscreen, triamcinolone and/or 5-fluorouracil.

Exclusions 6-l0: We will exclude the small proportion who get their KCs for special
reasons other than ultraviolet radiation exposure (see list below), since that etiologic
difference, which is associated with a prognostic difference, could be associated with a
biologic difference in response to chemoprevention efforts. These will include:

- Solid organ transplant recipients, such as renal, hepatic, or cardiac transplant

- Individuals with genetic disorders associated with very high cancer risk such as:

- basal cell nevus syndrome

- erythrodysplasia verruciformis

- xeroderma pigmentosum

- Arsenic exposure

- PUVA (Psoralen plus UVA) treatment

- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

- Prior or current radiation therapy to the face and/or ears.

Additional exclusions (12-15) are:

- Those who, in the opinion of the recruiting investigator, have very high mortality
risk at randomization (less than 50% chance of surviving 4 years) due to co morbid
illness such as metastatic cancer or COPD.

- For women of childbearing potential an initial pregnancy test and ongoing birth
control will be required for participation.

- Patients with known dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency by self
report or noted in the medical record (they have increased toxicity from systemic
5-FU, although screening for this is not part of dermatologic practice and will not
be part of this study).

- Patients on methotrexate (these will constitute about 1% of potentially eligible
individuals) because they may have more severe reactions to topical 5-FU.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention

Outcome Measure:

The time to diagnosis of the first Keratinocyte Carcinoma on the face or ears for which surgery is performed

Outcome Time Frame:

Either scheduled follow-up visits (every 6 months) or at examination requested by patient

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Martin A. Weinstock, MD

Investigator Role:

Study Chair

Investigator Affiliation:

VA Medical Center, Providence


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

June 2009

Completion Date:

March 2014

Related Keywords:

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • Skin Diseases
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell
  • Carcinoma
  • NMSC
  • nonmelanoma skin cancer
  • topical 5-FU 5% cream
  • Neoplasms
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Therapeutic Uses
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Neoplasms by Site
  • carcinoma, basal cell
  • carcinoma, squamous cell
  • Neoplasms
  • Carcinoma
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
  • Skin Diseases
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell



VA Medical Center, DurhamDurham, North Carolina  27705
VA Medical Center, MiamiMiami, Florida  33125
Edward Hines, Jr. VA HospitalHines, Illinois  60141-5000
VA Medical Center, ProvidenceProvidence, Rhode Island  02908
VA Medical Center, Jamaica Plain CampusBoston, Massachusetts  02130
VA Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo Alto, California  94304-1207
VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, DenverDenver, Colorado  80220
VA Medical Center, MinneapolisMinneapolis, Minnesota  55417
VA San Diego Healthcare System, San DiegoSan Diego, California  92161
VA Medical Center, PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania  19104
VA Medical Center, Bay PinesBay Pines, Florida  33708
Atlanta VA Medical and Rehab Center, DecaturDecatur, Georgia  30033
VA Medical CenterNashville, Tennessee  37212-2637