Which medications in the drug class Antineoplastic Agents are used in the treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Antineoplastic Agents

The most common chemotherapeutic agent used in superficial basal cell carcinoma is topical 5-fluorouracil.

Fluorouracil topical (Efudex)

5-Fluorouracil topical 5% cream or solution is used topically for the management of superficial BCC. It interferes with DNA synthesis by blocking methylation of deoxyuridylic acid and inhibiting thymidylate synthetase and, subsequently, cell proliferation.

Interferon alfa-2b (Intron-A)

Interferon alfa-2b is a protein product manufactured with recombinant DNA technology. The mechanism of antitumor activity is not clearly understood; however, direct antiproliferative effects against malignant cells and modulation of host immune response may be important.

As an investigational drug for nodular BCC, interferon alfa-2b was used in a randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter study with 172 patients. Intralesional injections of 1.5 million U administered 3 times/wk for 3 wk yielded an 86% complete-response rate, compared with 29% for placebo. A similar study did not show efficacy for morpheaform or aggressive BCCs.


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