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Derm News: 2007.21(3)

5% 5-Fluorouracil Cream for the Treatment of Small Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma: Efficacy, Tolerability, Cosmetic Outcome, and Patient Satisfaction

Dermatologic Surgery, 33(4):433-440
KENNETH GROSS, LEON KIRCIK, GREG KRICORIAN
ABSTRACT

Background

Five percent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) cream is approved by the FDA for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinomas but has been underutilized.

Objectives

The objective was to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, cosmetic outcome, and patient satisfaction of 5% 5-FU in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinomas.

Methods

A total of 29 patients with 31 biopsy-proven superficial basal cell carcinoma lesions on the trunk or limbs were treated with 5% 5-FU cream twice daily for up to 12 weeks. Treatment could be stopped sooner if the lesion was clinically resolved. The lesional site was surgically excised 3 weeks after the end of treatment for histologic evaluation of cure.

Results

The histologic cure rate was 90% (28/31 lesions cured) and the mean time to clinical cure was 10.5 weeks. 5-FU was generally well tolerated with a good cosmetic outcome-the majority of patients had no pain or scarring and only mild erythema. Patients were generally very satisfied with their treatment.

Conclusions

Five percent 5-FU is a highly effective and well-tolerated treatment option for superficial basal cell carcinomas offering a generally good cosmetic outcome and high levels of patient satisfaction.


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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.