Randomized, Vehicle-controlled Trials of Topical 5-fluorouracil Therapy for Actinic Keratosis Treatment

An Overview

Maral Rahvar; Sonia A Lamel; Howard I Maibach


Immunotherapy. 2012;4(9):939-945. 

In This Article


In conclusion, 0.5% 5-FU is significantly efficacious in the treatment of AKs as compared with its vehicle cream. Increasing the length of the therapy appears to add to its efficacy. Improving the rate of total clearance and number of lesions present by increasing the length of therapy may indicate that patients would benefit from prolonging therapy for up to 4 weeks. Moreover, the fact that no serious side effects were reported indicates the safety of this medication for its use in the populations evaluated in these studies. However, the overall appraisal of these trials highlights the need to improve means for detecting AKs and assessing their clinical changes to more accurately define the efficacy of treatments. Based on our knowledge of the pathophysiology of AKs, the application of substances to make AKs more visibly apparent may aid in the ability of physicians to assess the number and size of lesions and may additionally allow for the use of computer technologies to do the same, ultimately improving our ability to assess lesions in need of treatment.