- How is vaginal cancer treated?
- Laser surgery for vaginal pre- cancer
- Topical therapy for vaginal pre-cancer
- Radiation therapy for vaginal cancer
- Surgery for vaginal cancer
- Chemotherapy for vaginal cancer
- Clinical trials for vaginal cancer
- Complementary and alternative therapies for vaginal cancer
- Treatment options by stage and type of vaginal cancer
- More treatment information for vaginal cancer
Topical therapy for vaginal pre-cancer
Topical therapy puts the drug directly onto the cancer. This is another way to treat vaginal pre-cancer (vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia or VAIN), but is not used to treat invasive vaginal cancer.
One choice is to apply the chemotherapy drug, fluorouracil (5-FU), directly to the lining of the vagina. This is repeated weekly for about 10 weeks or given nightly for 1 to 2 weeks. This treatment has drawbacks. It can cause severe vaginal and vulvar irritation. Also, it may not work as well using the laser or simply removing the lesion with surgery.
A second drug that can be used topically is called imiquimod. This drug comes in a cream to be applied to the area of VAIN. Imiquimod is not a chemotherapy drug. Instead, it acts by boosting the body’s immune response to the area of abnormal tissue. This treatment has led to improvement of VAIN (the lesions changed from VAIN 2 or 3 to VAIN 1). In some women, it has caused VAIN to go away completely.
Last Medical Review: 06/17/2014
Last Revised: 03/18/2015