Background: Actinic keratosis (AK) is the earliest clinical manifestation of squamous cell carcinoma. Metastatic SCC causes the majority of the 1300 to 2300 deaths attributed to nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States each year. Recent studies have shown that intralesional administration of interferon can be used successfully in the treatment of AK. Objective: Imiquimod is an immune response modifier, currently approved for the treatment of genital warts. The topically applied immune response modifier acts by up-regulating interferon and other cytokines involved in the cell-mediated immune response at the site of application. The aim of this was to determine the efficacy and safety of imiquimod 5% cream for the treatment of AK. Methods: Twenty-two patients with AK lesions were treated with imiquimod 5% cream, initially at 3 times per week for 8 weeks, or until total clearance of lesions. Patients applied imiquimod to lesions on one side of the body and vehicle cream to the other side. A total of 17 patients who completed treatment were evaluated for number of lesions and adverse reactions before treatment and at weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 after initiation of treatment. AK lesions were also assessed 4 and 8 weeks after treatment. Results: A significant reduction in the average number of lesions per patient was observed for patients treated with imiquimod. The most frequent reactions to treatment were erythema, itching, and scabbing; however, all adverse events were mild to moderate. Conclusion: Imiquimod 5% cream may be a promising treatment for AK. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2002;47:553-6.)Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Abbreviations : AK, BCC, IL, IFN, NMSC, SCC, UV
| Funding sources: A grant from 3M Pharmaceuticals, St Paul, Minn.
| Conflict of interest: None.
| Reprint requests: Andrea Persaud, MD, Clinical Dermatology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 5 E 98th St, Box 1048, New York, NY 10029.