Prasterone (Dehydroepiandrosterone) in Treating Postmenopausal Cancer Survivors With Vaginal Symptoms

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
Phase IIIBiomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive careClosed18 and overNCI, OtherN10C1
NCCTG-N10C1, CDR0000702003, NCI-2011-02677, NCT01376349

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may help relieve vaginal symptoms in female cancer survivors.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial studies DHEA to see how well it works compared to placebo in treating postmenopausal cancer survivors with vaginal symptoms.

Further Study Information

Primary Goal:

  • To determine the effectiveness of two doses of daily vaginal prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA]) versus placebo for alleviation of the most bothersome vaginal symptom (vaginal dryness or dyspareunia) over 12 weeks.

Exploratory Goals:

  • To evaluate any toxicities arising from DHEA in this patient population. (Exploratory)
  • To evaluate the impact of vaginal DHEA on negative sexual thoughts, sexual function and urologic symptoms. (Exploratory)
  • To explore the role of psychologic (mood, stress), physical (demographics and treatment variables) and situational factors (partner variables and fatigue) as predictors of vaginal dryness and performance outcomes at baseline and at various endpoints throughout the study. (Exploratory)
  • To explore the characteristics of vaginal atrophy and the relationship between vaginal atrophy and quality-of-life questionnaire responses and exposure to hormonal therapy (tamoxifen, exemestane, anastrozole, or letrozole). (Exploratory)
  • To examine the effects of the use of open-label vaginal DHEA gel over 8 weeks in women completing the placebo gel arm of the randomized trial. (Exploratory)

Correlative Research Goals:

  • To evaluate the impact of vaginal DHEA on maturation index and pH (select institutions).
  • To evaluate the impact of vaginal DHEA on sex steroid concentrations (estradiol, free testosterone, estrone, and DHEA-S) and markers of bone turnover (osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase). (Correlative)
  • As part of ongoing research for NCCTG Cancer Control studies, we are banking blood products for future studies. (Correlative)

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to current tamoxifen therapy (yes vs no), concurrent aromatase inhibitor use (anastrozole/letrozole vs exemestane vs none), hysterectomy (yes vs no), and cigarette smoking (current vs past vs never). Patients are randomized to 1 of 3 treatment arms, patients receive low dose vaginal DHEA, high dose vaginal DHEA or vaginal placebo gel.

Participants may complete the Profile of Mood States (POMS), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the Fatigue: Vitality subscale of the SF-36, the Vaginal Symptom Quality Questionnaire, the DHEA Side Effect Questionnaire, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Sexually Related Intrusive Thoughts - ITS, Impact of Treatment Scale, the Urogenital Atrophy Questionnaire, and the Subject Global Impression of Change at baseline and periodically during study.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Age ≥ 18 years

2. Postmenopausal women with a history of breast or gynecologic cancer (currently no evidence of disease). Note: Postmenopausal status will be determined by the following criteria:

1. 12 months without a period or bilateral oophorectomy or complete chemical ovarian suppression for the past 12 months with continued suppression planned throughout the course of the study

2. menopausal status will be determined by an FSH and an estradiol value in the postmenopausal range (generally FSH > 40IU/L and estradiol < 10 pg/ml, depending on laboratory) if:

  • 9 months without a period or
  • post hysterectomy with at least one ovary remaining and less than 55 years old. Note: if age 55 or older with these criteria, then menopausal status does not need to be determined by labs

3. Significant vaginal complaints. Note: Defined as persistent vaginal dryness and/or pain with intercourse (dyspareunia) of sufficient severity to make a patient desire therapeutic intervention.

4. Eligibility questionnaire response must be moderate or worse levels of severity on one of the two symptoms, either dryness or dyspareunia. The protocol contains more information.

5. Vaginal symptoms must have been present ≥ 2 months prior to randomization.

6. Life expectancy > 12 months.

7. Ability to complete questionnaires by themselves or with assistance.

8. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status (PS) 0 or 1.

9. The patient must provide informed written consent.

10. Willing to return to the enrolling institution for follow-up.

11. Willing to provide blood samples for correlative research purposes.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Initiation or discontinuation of tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors ≤ 2 months prior to randomization or plans to initiate or discontinue any of these medications during the 12-week study.

2. Current diagnosis of an active vaginal infection, if symptoms of vaginal infection, this must be ruled out (ie, foul discharge, fever).

3. Concurrent chemotherapy (long term adjuvant herceptin, lapatanib, and/or bevacizumab is allowed.

4. Planned use of any vaginal preparations during the study period (including any over the counter or herbal preparations). Note: Water-based lubricants (such as KY jelly) are allowed during sexual intercourse.

5. Use of any daily non-hormonal vaginal preparations ≤ 1 week prior to study entry.

Exception: Daily water-based lubricants for sexual intercourse. Note: Patients who stop agent may be enrolled after one week.

6. Current (≤ 4 weeks prior to randomization), or planned during the study period, use of any estrogen product or any kind of hormonal vaginal product including bioidentical hormones, estriol or any androgen product.

7. Use of pharmacologic soy or phytoestrogen preparations (Dietary intake of soy - ie milk is acceptable).

8. On a placebo controlled trial for endocrine therapy.

9. Prior or concurrent pelvic radiation therapy.

10. Prior radical pelvic surgery, specifically vaginectomy or pelvic exenteration (TAH/BSO) is allowed).

11. Diagnosis of any of the following conditions within the past five years:

1. Essential vulvodynia

2. Vulvar vestibulitis

3. Bartholin cyst/abscess

4. History of Bartholin gland surgery

5. Lichen sclerosis

6. Lichen planus of the vulvovaginal region

7. Desquamative vaginitis

12. History or current diagnosis of any of the following conditions:

1. Vulvar or vaginal dysplasia

2. Vaginal prolapse

13. Women of childbearing potential, premenopausal women.

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology

  • National Cancer Institute
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
Debra Barton, RN, PhD, AOCN, FAAN, Principal Investigator

Trial Sites


Beech Grove

St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers - Beech Grove Campus

Howard M. Gross
Ph: 765-983-3000


Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute

Philip J. Stella
Ph: 734-712-3456

Fergus Falls

Lake Region Healthcare Corporation-Cancer Care

Preston D. Steen
Ph: 701-234-6161

South Carolina

AnMed Cancer Center

James Dewitt Bearden
Ph: 800-486-5941

Link to the current record.
NLM Identifier NCT01376349 processed this data on February 27, 2015

Note: Information about this trial is from the database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to