Diclofenac Sodium 3% Gel in the Treatment of Actinic Keratoses Postcryosurgery

July 2008 | Volume 7 | Issue 7 | Original Article | 669 | Copyright © July 2008

Joshua M. Berlin MD FAAD, Darrell S. Rigel MD FAAD

Abstract
Background: Actinic keratoses are increasingly common skin lesions that are evaluated and treated by dermatologists on a daily basis. It is estimated that more than 90% of actinic keratoses in the US are treated by destructive therapies, such as cryosurgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of sequential therapy of cryosurgery followed by diclofenac sodium 3% gel.

Methods: This prospective, double-arm, multicenter, open-label, phase 4 study was performed at 82 community dermatology centers in the US. A total of 714 subjects who had a clinical diagnosis of actinic keratosis with between 5 and 15 lesions contained in a target area such as the forehead, scalp, and hands were enrolled in the study. These subjects were randomized into 2 arms of the study: cryosurgery alone and cryosurgery followed by diclofenac sodium 3% gel for a period of 90 days. Lesion counts were assessed at baseline, and 45, 75, 105, and 135 days after cryosurgery.

Results: Of the 521 patients enrolled in the study who successfully completed all of the visits concluding on day 135, 277 were in the cryosurgery alone arm and 244 were in the cryosurgery followed by diclofenac sodium 3% gel arm. At the conclusion of the study, 46% of the subjects in the cryosurgery followed by the use of diclofenac sodium 3% gel arm achieved 100% cumulative (target plus new lesions) lesion clearance compared to 21% in the cryosurgery alone arm (P<.0001). One hundred percent target lesion clearance was achieved in 64% of the subjects in the active arm compared to 32% in the cryosurgery alone arm (P<.0001).

Conclusions: With the increased prevalence of actinic keratoses, it is important to consider and evaluate emerging therapeutic options. The sequential treatment with cryosurgery followed by diclofenac sodium 3% gel for 90 days is well tolerated and can provide a therapeutic modality that may provide patients with actinic keratoses a more successful outcome than monotherapy with cryosurgery by effectively treating clinical and subclinical lesions.