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Recurrence rates and patient assessed outcomes of 0.5% 5-fluorouracil in combination with salicylic acid treating actinic keratoses.

Author(s): Stockfleth E, Zwingers T, Willers C.

Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, Berlin University Medical Centre, Berlin, Germany. eggert.stockfleth@charite.de

Publication date & source: 2012, Eur J Dermatol. , 22(3):370-4

BACKGROUND: Actinic keratoses (AK) have been classified as early in situ squamous cell carcinomas and should be treated. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the clinical benefit of 5-fluorouracil 0.5%/salicylic acid 10.0% (5-FU/SA) versus 3% diclofenac/hyaluronic acid (HA) for the treatment of AK and report patients' assessments of efficacy, tolerability and practicability. METHODS: Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group, multicentre trial. Patients received topical 0.5% 5-FU/SA once daily, its vehicle or diclofenac/HA twice daily for maximum of 12 weeks. Lesion recurrence rates were evaluated at 6 and 12 months after end of treatment (EOT). Patients' assessments were evaluated at 6 weeks, EOT, post-treatment (PT) visit, 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: At 12 months 85.8% of lesions did not recur in the 5-FU/SA group compared to 79.8% (p=0.04419) in the vehicle and 81.0% (p=0.02476) in the diclofenac/HA groups. At PT visit 93.2% patients (n=163/175) in the 5-FU/SA group rated clinical improvement as "very good" or "good" compared to vehicle (66.7%, n=62/93, p<0.0001) and diclofenac/HA (81.6%, n=142/174, p<0.0001). Local side effects (inflammation and burning) were more common with 0.5% FU/SA but in general did not lead to discontinuation of therapy. Overall, patients were satisfied with the therapy. At 12 months, there were no differences in practicability and handling between treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Topical 0.5% 5-FU/SA demonstrated superior sustained clinical efficacy versus diclofenac/HA with acceptable tolerability. Patient satisfaction was high.

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