Imiquimod as a Possible Treatment for Keratoacanthoma

January 2004 | Volume 3 | Issue 1 | Case Reports | 71 | Copyright © January 2004

Neal Bhatia MD

Imiquimod is an immune-response modifier that has the potential to be useful in many dermatological indications (Table 1). To date, the approved use is for condyloma acuminata; approval for use in treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has been filed with the FDA and is expected to be approved in the coming months. In the interim, the expansion of the horizons for this immunomodulator depends on the application of the science and immunology behind the drug to the appropriate disease states.

Recent investigations have presented explanations on the possible mechanisms behind the anti-tumor activity of imiquimod, more specifically for its use in treating superficial BCC. There are studies currently underway as well as anecdotal data published for its possible use in treating squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), although this is not as widely accepted for off-label use as BCC among many dermatologists. However, many patients who may not be surgical candidates that present with tumors other than BCC have been successfully treated with imiquimod. This is a case of an elderly patient who could not undergo surgery that presented with a large keratoacanthoma and was clear of her tumor after five months using imiquimod 5% cream on a daily basis.