When are topical therapies indicated in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma (BCC)?

Updated: Mar 23, 2021
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Topical 5% imiquimod is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of nonfacial superficial BCCs that are less than 2 cm in diameter. Lesions are generally treated once daily, 5 days per week, for a duration of 6-12 weeks.

Likewise, topical fluorouracil is approved by the FDA for the treatment of superficial BCC, administered twice daily for 3-6 weeks. [73] Although no formal restrictions on fluorouracil have been determined based on lesion size or location, it is most commonly used on smaller superficial BCCs on the trunk and extremities. Both imiquimod and fluorouracil may be used topically for prophylaxis or maintenance in patients who are prone to having many BCCs, likely by treating subclinical tumors.

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