Design and Recruitment for Retinoid Skin Cancer Prevention

Southwest Skin Cancer Prevention Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The retinoid skin cancer prevention (SKICAP) trials are a set of double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. The SKICAP-actinic keratoses (AK) trial tests the hypothesis that daily supplementation of retinol (25,000 IU) for 5 years reduces the incidence of skin cancers in high-risk individuals, those with a history of greater than ten clinically or pathologically diagnosed AK and, at most, one prior pathologically confirmed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) or basal cell carcinoma (BCC). The SKICAP-SCC/BCC (S/B) trial tests the hypothesis that daily supplementation of retinol (25,000 IU) or 13-c/s-retinoic acid (5 or 10 mg) for 3 years reduces skin cancer incidence in very high-risk individuals, those with a history of at least four pathologically confirmed SCCs or BCCs. Between 1984 and 1988, 2800 participants were enrolled at two clinics on the SKICAP-AK trial; and between 1985 and 1990, a total of 719 participants were enrolled at four clinics on the SKICAP-S/B trial. The initial recruitment strategy was referral by dermatologists, but low accrual necessitated the use of other strategies to achieve enrollment goals, which included involving additional clinics and using paid trial-specific advertisements in print and electronic media. Thirteen % of the SKICAP-AK participants and 36% of the SKICAP-S/B participants were enrolled through dermatologist referral, whereas paid advertisements resulted in enrollment of 87% of SKICAP-AK and 43% of SKICAP-S/B participants. A population-based skin cancer registry was used to identify and enroll the remaining 21% of the SKICAP-S/B participants. This communication describes the design of the trials, the strategies, results, and costs of recruitment, and baseline participant characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-669
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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