Common Therapies for Basal Cell Carcinoma Offer Similar Survival

Long-term tumor-free survival similar for imiquimod, photodynamic therapy

FRIDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC), treatment with imiquimod or photodynamic therapy (PDT) results in similar long-term tumor-free survival, according to a review published online May 21 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Marieke H. Roozeboom, M.D., from the Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to determine residue, recurrence, and tumor-free survival for patients with sBCC treated with frequently used therapies. Thirty-six (14 randomized and 22 nonrandomized) studies were included.

The researchers found that, based on 28 studies, the pooled estimates of percentages of sBCC with complete response 12 weeks after treatment were 86.2 percent for imiquimod and 79.0 percent for PDT. At one year, tumor-free survival was 87.3 percent for imiquimod and 84 percent for PDT, based on pooled estimates from 23 studies. Treatment results with 5-fluorouracil, surgical excision, and cryotherapy were reported by a small number of studies.

"Pooled estimates from randomized and nonrandomized studies showed similar tumor-free survival at one year for imiquimod and PDT," the authors write. "There is a need for head-to-head comparison studies between PDT, imiquimod, and other treatments with long-term follow-up to enable better recommendations for optimal sBCC treatment."

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