Lesion-directed topical therapy safe for actinic keratosis

September 1, 2011

A new topical therapy combining low-dose 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) with salicylic acid is proving very effective in the treatment of actinic keratosis (AK), particularly in more difficult to treat advanced hyperkeratotic AK lesions, study results show.

Key Points

Berlin - A new topical therapy combining low-dose 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) with salicylic acid is proving very effective in the treatment of actinic keratosis (AK), particularly in more difficult to treat advanced hyperkeratotic AK lesions, study results show.

There are numerous standalone topical therapies readily available for the treatment of AKs, including 5-FU, diclofenac, imiquimod and cryotherapy, each of which can have varying levels of efficacy. Some of these therapeutic approaches lack standardization in treatment protocol, however, and need improvement in terms of achieving an evidence level of efficacy supported by histologically backed placebo-controlled studies.

"This lack of standardization underscores the importance of establishing clinical studies using these topical therapies that are backed by histology, which can assess the true clearance of AKs after the treatment. The establishment of higher evidence levels for lesion-directed therapies would be useful in standardizing topical therapeutic approaches so that the clearance of AKs can be more uniformly reproduced," says Eggert Stockfleth, M.D., professor, department of dermatology, venereology and allergy, Berlin University Medical Center, Charité Skin Cancer Centre, Berlin.