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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 54, n° 6
pages 1033-1038 (juin 2006)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2006.02.035

Long-term follow-up of basal cell carcinomas treated with perilesional interferon alfa 2b as monotherapy

Stephen B. Tucker, MD a, , Jerry W. Polasek, MD b, Anthony J. Perri, MD c, Elizabeth A. Goldsmith, MPAS, PA-C d
a From the Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston 
b Department of Radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston 
c Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston 
d private practice, The Woodlands 

Reprint requests: Stephen B. Tucker, MD, Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas at Houston, 6655 Travis, Ste 980, Houston, TX 77030.

Houston, Galveston, and The Woodlands, Texas


Interferon alfa-2b (IFN) may be used to treat basal cell carcinoma (BCC) as an alternative to surgical or destructive methods.


The purpose of this study is to determine the long-term effectiveness of IFN treatment for BCC.


Fifty patients with 98 biopsy-proven primary superficial and nodular BCCs were treated perilesionally and intradermally with injections of IFN between 1985 and 1992.


Clinical cures were noted in 95 of 98 BCCs (51 nodular and 44 superficial), with a mean follow-up period of 10.5 years (9 months to 18.5 years). Of these, 35 of the 50 patients, which would include 68 of the 98 tumors, were followed up for a minimum of 10 years, with an average follow-up of 13.5 years. The 3 lesions requiring further treatment were nodular type BCC. One of these lesions showed no response to treatment, whereas the other two responded, then recurred at 4 and 154 months. Of the 68 tumors followed up for a minimum of 10 years, cure rates were 96%. Overall data analysis using Kaplan-Meier estimates showed 98% success rates at years 5 and 10, and a 96% success rate at year 15.


Since 31% of patients could not be evaluated for more than 10-year follow-up, it is possible that the long-term cure rate is lower than that found in those available for evaluation.


Treatment of superficial and nodular BCCs with perilesional IFN is an acceptable treatment that may provide benefits over other treatment modalities depending on patients’ individual needs. In addition, on the basis of this study, results of IFN treatment for BCC are comparable to most other methods of tumor destruction.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Funding sources: None.
Conflicts of interest: None identified.

© 2006  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@
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