A study published in the Journal of the American
Academy of Dermatology (44:807-813, 2001) reported an almost 90% clearance of superficial basal cell carcinoma following
daily application of imiquimod (Aldara) 5% cream for 6 weeks.
In this multicenter, phase II trial conducted in Australia and New Zealand,
99 patients applied imiquimod to a single biopsy-proven superficial basal cell
carcinoma tumor. Treatment efficacy was measured by complete histologic
clearance of the carcinoma in the posttreatment biopsy. Of the 33 patients using
the once-daily regimen, 87.9% showed complete clearance of superficial tumor.
The most frequently reported reactions were itching, pain, and discharge at the
target tumor site. With the exception of itching, which was reported by almost
the same percentage of patients in both regimens, the percentage of patients
reporting pain and discharge decreased as dosing frequency decreased.