Pilot Study Using Topical Imiquimod 5% Cream in the Treatment of Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma after Initial Treatment with Curettage

September 2007 | Volume 6 | Issue 9 | Original Article | 910 | Copyright © September 2007

Julie A. Neville MD, Phillip M. Williford MD, Joseph L. Jorizzo MD

Background: Nodular basal cell carcinoma (nBCC) is the most common cutaneous malignancy and studies assessing the use of topical imiquimod 5% cream as a monotherapy in the treatment of nBCC have resulted in less than optimal clearance rates. Objective: This pilot study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of imiquimod 5% cream on nodular basal cell carcinoma lesions after initial treatment with curettage. Methods: After obtaining informed consent, 17 nBCCs on 15 patients were included in this institutional review boardapproved, open-label study with initial treatment using curettage without electrodesiccation followed by once-daily application of imiquimod 5% cream 5 times per week for 6 weeks. The area was excised and examined histologically 6 weeks after cessation of imiquimod cream. Results: All 17 lesions (100%) showed no histologic evidence of residual tumor on the post-treatment excision. Local site reactions necessitating a rest period from medication application were experienced by most patients (67%), but the majority of patients stated that they would choose this treatment modality over excision if they developed a subsequent tumor. Conclusion: Imiquimod 5% cream appears to be an effective treatment method for nodular basal cell carcinoma if combined with curettage prior to application.