Division of Orbital and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the Department of Ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Jules Stein Eye Institute, Los Angeles, California 90095-7006, USA.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common non-melanoma skin cancer, and its incidence continues to rise. Current management options are numerous and focus on tumour eradication while maximising cosmetic and functional capacity. Although surgery continues to be considered the main treatment modality, new pharmacological agents, such as immunomodulators, topical chemotherapeutic agents and photodynamic therapy, have emerged and show promising results. Pharmacological agents offer the potential for lower morbidity and improved tissue preservation compared with surgery and radiotherapy. However, pharmacological treatments possess higher failure rates when compared with surgery, and most studies have investigated only low-risk lesions. Several prospective, randomised, double-blind, vehicle-controlled studies have established the efficacy of imiquimod for superficial BCC. This review summarises the evidence regarding the mechanism, efficacy and safety of pharmacological agents based on the literature from the past 10 years. Experimental treatments that have been successfully utilised in the treatment of BCC are also discussed. Treatment of BCC with other agents, such as tazarotene, glycoalkaloid (BEC-5) cream, cidofovir and calcium dobesilate have been reported, but further studies are needed to ascertain the efficacy and adverse-effect profiles of these treatments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Superficial basal cell carcinoma comprise up to 25% of all histological sub-types. They are more likely to occur on younger persons and females and although generally more common on the trunk, also occur frequently on the exposed areas of the head and neck especially in areas of high sun exposure. In the last decade, new treatment options such as topical applications that modify the immune response have been trialed for effectiveness in treating these lesions. Imiquimod 5% cream has been shown to stimulate the innate and cell mediated immune system. The short-term success of imiquimod 5% cream in randomized controlled trials comparing different treatment regimes and dosing as a treatment for small superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC) not on the face or neck is in the range of 82% for 5 times per week application. A high proportion of participants with good response rates to topical treatment (58%-92%) experience local side effects such as itching and burning, less commonly erosion and ulceration, but the proportion of participants ceasing treatment has not been high. To date one long-term study indicates a treatment success rate of 78%-81% and that initial response is a predictor of long-term outcome. Recurrences tend to occur within the first year after treatment. Future research will compare this preparation to the gold standard treatment for superficial BCC - surgical excision.
Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 06/2009; 2:65-75. DOI:10.2147/CCID.S3507
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