A Biomarker Evaluation Trial of UAB30 in Renal Transplant Recipients at High Risk for Non-melanoma Skin Cancer

  • End date
    Aug 1, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
Updated on 26 January 2021
tubal ligation
melanoma skin
skin cancer
basal cell carcinomas
squamous cell carcinoma
menstrual period
all trans-retinoic acid


This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled biomarker study in renal transplant recipients with actinic damage and a history of basal cell carcinomas and/or cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas. There will be two arms to the study: 1) daily oral UAB30 for 28 days; and 2) daily oral placebo for 28 days. The total duration of the study is anticipated to be 5 years. The hypothesis being tested is that a significantly greater percentage of subjects randomized to oral UAB30 over a period of 28 days will achieve 30% reduction in biomarkers of proliferation and 30% increase in apoptosis biomarkers than those who receive placebo. Cyclin D1 will serve as the primary biomarker.

This investigation will determine whether subjects randomized to UAB30 have an increase in all trans-retinoic acid responsive genes in the skin compared to those receiving placebo. This will include an examination of target effects of UAB30 by evaluating its effects in vivo in humans on the DNA damage response and Src signaling pathways.


Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), which include basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and cutaneous squamous carcinomas (SCCs), are the most common malignancy in the U.S.; it is estimated that >3.5 million new NMSCs this year. This represents a tremendous economic impact on the U.S. healthcare system. Most NMSC are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and current methods for their prevention consist of recommendations for limitations to sun exposure and avoidance of indoor tanning beds, the regular application of sunscreens, and a variety of other photoprotective activities. Despite these measures, the incidence of NMSCs continues to rise.

NMSCs are a particular problem for organ transplant recipients (OTRs), who must take medicines to protect against rejection of their transplanted organ. These drugs suppress the host immune response that serves to identify and eliminate mutant and neoplastic keratinocytes before they can progress to clinically apparent cancers. Recent research indicates that these drugs also augment signal transduction pathways involved in skin tumor development. NMSCs develop much more frequently in long-term recipients of renal allografts and once present, they behave more aggressively. In immunosuppressed patients, the risk of developing SCCs is 65250-fold higher than in the general population, and the risk of BCCs is 10-fold greater. The rate of SCC metastases in organ transplant recipients is 7%, which is much higher than the general population. For this reason, there has been great interest in identifying novel agents for chemoprevention, which are suitable for use by OTRs.

There will be two groups to the study. Individuals, aged 18 years or older, who have had a renal transplant but are in otherwise general good health, will be given UAB30 (160 mg/day) and will be compared to individuals, aged 18 years or older, who have had a renal transplant and are in otherwise general good health who are given placebo. All participants must be at increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer as evidenced by a history of prior squamous or basal cell skin cancer, ongoing or history of actinic keratoses, and the presence, at baseline, of at least eight actinic keratoses on the face, neck, scalp and arms. Subjects will be randomized to 28 days of:

  1. UAB30 at 160 mg/day, renal transplant recipients
  2. placebo renal transplant recipients

At baseline screening, informed consent will be obtained and skin will be examined for potential non-melanoma skin cancers. Any lesions that are clinically suspicious for non-melanoma skin cancer will be removed per standard of care prior to administration of drug. Actinic keratoses will not be removed during the 28 day study period. Two weeks later, once any lesions clinically suspicious for non-melanoma skin cancer have been removed, renal transplant recipients will be randomized to one of the treatment arms described above. Participants will return at 28 days and 112 days for assessment.

  1. At randomization and 28 days, 6mm punch biopsies, or the equivalent deep shave biopsies, will be taken for individual biomarkers from non-sun exposed skin, chronically sun exposed skin, and a pre-identified AK. The chronically sun-exposed skin to be biopsied will be no less than 1 cm from the AK to be biopsied.
  2. At baseline, at 28 days and at the end of study AK lesions will be assessed and counted, employing techniques that have been validated in other studies.
  3. All lesions suspicious for skin cancer will be biopsied and treated appropriately (per standard of care) throughout the study.
  4. Adverse events will be assessed, including NMSC and melanoma, from signing of the informed consent through the end of the trial.

Condition Non-melanoma Skin Cancer, Non-melanoma Skin Cancer, Non-melanoma Skin Cancer, Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
Treatment Placebo, UAB30
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03327064
SponsorUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
Last Modified on26 January 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

Is your age greater than or equal to 18 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have Non-melanoma Skin Cancer?
Do you have any of these conditions: Do you have Non-melanoma Skin Cancer??
years of age
Potential subjects will have at least 8 actinic keratoses (as determined by study dermatologists or qualified designee )
ECOG performance status of 0 or 1
Participants must have normal organ and marrow function as defined below
WBC 3000/mm3; platelets 100,000mm3, hemoglobin >10 g/dL
Bilirubin upper limit of institutional normal
Creatinine within institutional normal limits
Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Bicarbonate: all upper limit of institutional normal
Fasting Triglycerides 1.5xULN and Fasting Cholesterol 1.5x ULN
Women of child-bearing potential and men must agree to use two effective forms of birth control prior to study entry and for the duration of study participation and for one month after study completion. Low dose progesterone only birth control pills are not an acceptable form of birth control due to lowered birth control efficacy with retinoids. Males who have had a vasectomy are not considered able to father a child, and therefore are eligible to participate without the use of concurrent birth control. Women who have had a bilateral oophorectomy, hysterectomy, or are greater than 1 year since their last menses, are not considered to be of child-bearing potential, and therefore are eligible to participate without the use of concurrent birth control
Each of the following is considered to be a single effective method of birth
Combined oral contraceptive pill if used for >30 days prior to entry into the study and continued for 30 days after the last dose of the study agent
Implanted hormone if in place for >30 days prior to entry into the study and continued for 30 days after the last dose of the study agent
Any implanted device
Tubal ligation
barrier methods used together
cervical cap + spermacide or foam
diaphragm + spermacide or foam
condom + spermacide or foam
Females of child-bearing potential must have two negative urine pregnancy tests before starting drug; the first at the time of screening and a second pregnancy test within the first 5 days of their menstrual period
Participants must have the ability to understand, and the willingness to sign, a written informed consent document

Exclusion Criteria

Participants may not be taking medications which might interact with UAB30
Participants may not be taking lipid lowering agents
Participants may not be receiving any other investigational agents
Participants with a history of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic composition of retinoids
Participants with an uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to, ongoing, recurrent or active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements. Depression is not exclusionary, but the investigator should make the determination if patients with depression are eligible
Because there is an unknown but potential risk for adverse events in nursing infants secondary to treatment of the mother with UAB30, breastfeeding must be discontinued for the duration of study participation and for one month after the last dose of the study agent if the mother is treated with UAB30
Individuals known to be HIV-positive may not participate in this study. The uncertain immune status of HIV-positive people and the potential risks of taking part in this study are too great to justify a study with low likelihood of benefit
Individuals with a history of cancer diagnosis or reoccurrence <5 years from study entry may not participate. However, individuals with a history of squamous or basal cell carcinoma of the skin <5 years from study entry will not be excluded from this study
Because of the uncertain risk of UAB30 to unborn fetuses and children, pregnant women and children will not be allowed in this study
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