Friday, April 2, 2010 (Last Updated: 04/06/2010)
FRIDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with actinic keratoses, a short-course regimen of imiquimod 2.5 or 3.75 percent may be an effective treatment for the balding scalp or full face, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
C. William Hanke, M.D., of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana in Carmel, and colleagues conducted two identical studies in which 490 subjects were randomized to placebo or imiquimod 2.5 percent or 3.75 percent cream applied once daily for two three-week treatment cycles. After eight weeks, they found that complete and partial clearance rates were significantly lower for placebo (5.5 and 12.8 percent, respectively) than for 2.5 percent imiquimod cream (25 and 42.7 percent, respectively) or 3.75 percent imiquimod cream (34 and 53.7 percent, respectively).
In related research, Neil Swanson, M.D., of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues noted that imiquimod 5 percent is an approved treatment for actinic keratoses but requires a long treatment time and is limited to a small area of skin. They conducted two identical studies in which 479 patients were randomized to placebo or imiquimod 2.5 percent or 3.75 percent cream applied once daily for two two-week treatment cycles. After eight weeks, they found that complete and partial clearance rates were significantly lower for placebo (6.3 and 22.6 percent, respectively) than for imiquimod 2.5 percent (30.6 and 48.1 percent, respectively) or imiquimod 3.75 percent (35.6 and 59.4 percent, respectively).
"With these new imiquimod formulations, actinic keratoses treatment may be simplified and duration reduced for many patients," Swanson and colleagues conclude. "Further studies should evaluate these formulations for sustained clearance of actinic keratoses and for effectiveness in treating actinic keratoses on other body sites."
The studies were supported by Graceway Pharmaceuticals; several authors reported financial relationships with the company.
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