A Single-Arm, Proof-Of-Concept Trial of Lopimune (Lopinavir/Ritonavir) as a Treatment for HPV-Related Pre-Invasive Cervical Disease

Sahasrabuddhe, Vikrant, Hampson, Lynne, Maranga, Innocent O., Masinde, Millicent S., Oliver, Anthony W., Batman, Gavin, He, Xiaotong, Desai, Minaxi, Okemwa, Parmenas M. et al (2016) A Single-Arm, Proof-Of-Concept Trial of Lopimune (Lopinavir/Ritonavir) as a Treatment for HPV-Related Pre-Invasive Cervical Disease. PLOS ONE, 11 (1). e0147917. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147917


Cervical cancer is the most common female malignancy in the developing nations and the third most common cancer in women globally. An effective, inexpensive and self-applied topical treatment would be an ideal solution for treatment of screen-detected, pre-invasive cervical disease in low resource settings.

Between 01/03/2013 and 01/08/2013, women attending Kenyatta National Hospital's Family Planning and Gynaecology Outpatients clinics were tested for HIV, HPV (Cervista®) and liquid based cervical cytology (LBC -ThinPrep®). HIV negative women diagnosed as high-risk HPV positive with high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) were examined by colposcopy and given a 2 week course of 1 capsule of Lopimune (CIPLA) twice daily, to be self-applied as a vaginal pessary. Colposcopy, HPV testing and LBC were repeated at 4 and 12 weeks post-start of treatment with a final punch biopsy at 3 months for histology. Primary outcome measures were acceptability of treatment with efficacy as a secondary consideration.

A total of 23 women with HSIL were treated with Lopimune during which time no adverse reactions were reported. A maximum concentration of 10 ng/ml of lopinavir was detected in patient plasma 1 week after starting treatment. HPV was no longer detected in 12/23 (52.2%, 95%CI: 30.6-73.2%). Post-treatment cytology at 12 weeks on women with HSIL, showed 14/22 (63.6%, 95%CI: 40.6-82.8%) had no dysplasia and 4/22 (18.2%, 95%CI: 9.9-65.1%) were now low grade demonstrating a combined positive response in 81.8% of women of which 77.8% was confirmed by histology. These data are supported by colposcopic images, which show regression of cervical lesions.

These results demonstrate the potential of Lopimune as a self-applied therapy for HPV infection and related cervical lesions. Since there were no serious adverse events or detectable post-treatment morbidity, this study indicates that further trials are clearly justified to define optimal regimes and the overall benefit of this therapy.

ISRCTN Registry 48776874.

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