Study: Picato gel works within days for AKs

March 21, 2012

Results of a new study suggest that Picato gel (ingenol mebutate, LEO Pharma) is efficient and effective in treating actinic keratosis (AK).

New York - Results of a new study suggest that Picato gel (ingenol mebutate, LEO Pharma) is efficient and effective in treating actinic keratosis (AK).

Researchers led by Mark Lebwohl, M.D., chairman of dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, studied more than 900 people with AK who were randomly assigned to treatment with either Picato or an inactive placebo. Investigators found that when used on the face or scalp, the gel cleared the condition nearly 43 percent of the time, compared with about 4 percent for placebo. When used on the trunk or extremities, the gel was effective 34 percent of the time versus about 5 percent for placebo.

Skin redness and crustiness developed within several days but subsided quickly. Other side effects were mild to moderate and resolved without problem. According to the study abstract, researchers found that “ingenol mebutate gel applied topically for two to three days is effective for field treatment of actinic keratoses.”

HealthDay News quotes Dr. Lebwohl as saying, “There are a number of agents available to treat precancerous skin lesions. Most … are applied over a period of weeks to months and have a reaction that lasts for a long time, so it interferes with your life for a good period of time. This one is unique in that it is applied for only one to three days.”

Doris Day, M.D., a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told HealthDay News that she would probably use the gel in combination with other treatment methods, as she doesn’t think the gel penetrates deeply into the skin.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Picato for use in actinic keratoses in January. The study, which appears in the March 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was funded by LEO Pharma.

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