Combination Topical Chemotherapy for the Treatment of an Invasive Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

07:00 EST 1st February 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Combination Topical Chemotherapy for the Treatment of an Invasive Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma"

Introduction: Standard of care for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is usually surgical, with either excision or Mohs micrographic surgery. However, surgery may not be ideal for elderly patients with numerous lesions, who are poor surgical candidates or who refuse surgery. Topical 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and imiquimod have been studied off-label as monotherapies in the treatment of SCC in situ with promising results. However, long-term tumor-free survival rates are still less than with surgical management.

Methods: We report a case of biopsy-proven invasive SCC in an 86-year-old Caucasian male with history of multiple actinic keratoses and no previous skin cancers. The patient declined surgical treatment due to concerns about cosmetic outcomes. A combination of topical 5% imiquimod cream, 2% 5-FU solution, and 0.1% tretinoin cream was used five nights per week under occlusion for a treatment goal of 30 total applications. The patient was evaluated in clinic every 2 weeks during which the site was treated with cryotherapy. The patient reported burning pain associated with treatment and only completed 24 of the 30 applications.

Results: Follow-up biopsy 15 months after completing topical treatment revealed dermal scar with no evidence of residual carcinoma.

Conclusion: Topical combination therapy with imiquimod, 5-FU, and tretinoin with intermittent, brief cryotherapy effectively treated a small, invasive SCC in this select patient who deferred surgery. Prospective randomized-controlled clinical trials to assess the role of combination topical treatment for invasive SCCs are warranted.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(2)202-204. doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.2228


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD
ISSN: 1545-9616
Pages: 202-204


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A surgical technique used primarily in the treatment of skin neoplasms, especially basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. This procedure is a microscopically controlled excision of cutaneous tumors either after fixation in vivo or after freezing the tissue. Serial examinations of fresh tissue specimens are most frequently done.

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A pharmaceutical preparation of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide that is used as a DERMATOLOGIC AGENT for the topical treatment of ACNE.

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