Long-Term Outcomes of Melanoma In Situ Treated With Topical 5% Imiquimod Cream: A Retrospective Review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Melanoma in situ (MIS) is a noninvasive form of melanoma for which nonsurgical therapeutic options continue to be explored. The off-label use of topical 5% imiquimod cream in the management of MIS has shown potential but reported recurrence rates vary considerably between 0% and 40%. Furthermore, the long-term efficacy of imiquimod is not well established.

OBJECTIVE

To determine the recurrence rate of MIS among patients treated with topical 5% imiquimod cream at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with at least 1 year of follow-up.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review identified 12 patients with MIS who have been treated with topical 5% imiquimod cream for 6 to 12 weeks. Patients who underwent surgical treatment for MIS were excluded from analysis.

RESULTS

Of 12 patients with histologically confirmed MIS treated with topical 5% imiquimod cream, there were 2 recurrences (17%) during a median follow-up time of 5.5 years.

CONCLUSION

Although surgery is still considered the gold standard for the treatment of MIS, imiquimod may represent a potentially effective noninvasive treatment option for patient who are not surgical candidates.

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