Three-Year Follow-Up Results of Photodynamic Therapy vs. Imiquimod vs. Fluorouracil for Treatment of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma: A Single-Blind, Noninferiority, Randomized Controlled Trial

Marieke H. Roozeboom*, Aimee H. M. M. Arits, Klara Mosterd, Anja Sommer, Brigitte A. B. Essers, Michette J. M. de Rooij, Patricia J. F. Quaedvlieg, Peter M. Steijlen, Patty J. Nelemans, Nicole W. J. Kelleners-Smeets

*Corresponding author for this work

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A randomized controlled trial including 601 patients previously showed that the effectiveness of imiquimod and fluorouracil cream were not inferior to methyl aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT) in patients with superficial basal cell carcinoma after 1 year of follow-up. We now present the 3-year follow-up results. The probability of tumor-free survival at 3 years post-treatment was 58.0% for MAL-PDT (95% confidence interval [CI] = 47.8-66.9), 79.7% for imiquimod (95% CI = 71.6-85.7), and 68.2% for fluorouracil (95% CI = 58.1-76.3). The hazard ratio for treatment failure comparing imiquimod with MAL-PDT was 0.50 (95% CI = 0.33-0.76, P = 0.001). Comparison of fluorouracil with MAL-PDT and fluorouracil with imiquimod showed hazard ratios of 0.73 (95% CI = 0.51-1.05, P = 0.092) and 0.68 (95% CI = 0.44-1.06, P = 0.091), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed a higher probability of treatment success for imiquimod versus MAL-PDT in all subgroups with the exception of elderly patients with superficial basal cell carcinoma on the lower extremities. In this subgroup, the risk difference in tumor-free survival was 57.6% in favor of MAL-PDT. In conclusion, according to results at 3 years post-treatment, imiquimod is superior and fluorouracil not inferior to MAL-PDT in treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1568-1574
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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