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Efficacy and safety of follow-up field treatment of actinic keratosis with ingenol mebutate 0·015% gel: a randomized, controlled 12-month study.

BACKGROUND: Ingenol mebutate (IngMeb) is a novel patient-applied topical field therapy for actinic keratosis.

OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the efficacy and safety of follow-up IngMeb field treatment of actinic keratoses (AKs) present at 8 weeks after initial treatment or emerging in a previously cleared field.

METHODS: In this phase III, randomized, double-blind study in patients with 4-8 clinically visible AKs within a contiguous 25-cm(2) treatment area on the face or scalp, all patients were treated initially with IngMeb 0·015% gel for three consecutive days. If lesions were present in the field at 8 weeks, or emerged at weeks 26 or 44, patients were randomized (2 : 1) to follow-up IngMeb or vehicle gel for three consecutive days. The main outcome was complete clearance rates of AKs 8 weeks after randomization.

RESULTS: Of 450 patients who received initial treatment with IngMeb, 61·6% demonstrated complete clearance at 8 weeks. Patients with AKs present at 8 weeks or emerging at weeks 26 or 44 were randomized to IngMeb (n = 134) or vehicle (n = 69). IngMeb achieved a higher complete clearance rate than vehicle 8 weeks after randomization in AKs present at 8 weeks (46·7% vs. 18·4%; P < 0·01) and in emergent AKs (59·5% vs. 25·0%; P = 0·01). Based on those who completed 12 months of follow-up (n = 340), the overall 12-month clearance rate was estimated at 50·0%. Follow-up IngMeb treatment was well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the long-term benefit of IngMeb 0·015% gel for initial and follow-up therapy of AKs.

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