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Treatment of Bowen's disease with topical 5% imiquimod cream: retrospective study.

BACKGROUND: Topical 5% imiquimod cream is an FDA-approved treatment for superficial basal cell carcinomas. It has also been utilized in the treatment of Bowen's disease (squamous cell in situ). The current literature on this subject, however, is scant, and this treatment is only validated by case reports and two small open label studies.

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess the efficacy of topical 5% imiquimod cream in the treatment of squamous cell in situ in a larger open-label case series. METHODS A retrospective study of 49 patients was performed.

RESULTS: Forty-two of the 49 (86%) patients in the study had a complete response with topical imiquimod. The remaining 7 (14%) failed therapy and required additional treatments. The mean follow-up duration was 19 months, with a range of 1 to 44 months.

CONCLUSION: Topical 5% imiquimod cream appears to be clinically beneficial in the treatment of Bowen's disease and should be considered as a treatment option.

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