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Ann Plast Surg. 2008 Oct;61(4):419-24. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31816714c8.

Topical imiquimod therapy for lentigo maligna.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.


Lentigo maligna (LM) presents a challenge for complete surgical excision. Imiquimod is a topical immune-response modifier that acts on the immune system. We report our experience using imiquimod 5% cream as a surgical alternative for treatment of LM. Consecutive patients between December 2004 and February 2006 with LM were treated with topical imiquimod. Data on patient and lesion characteristics, side effects of therapy, posttreatment biopsy results, and follow-up was collected. Seven patients were treated with imiquimod 5 nights/wk for 12.4 weeks. Complete histologic and clinical resolution was seen in 86% (6 of 7 patients), at 19.1 months follow-up. Side effects included erythema (86%) and crusting (71%), resulting in dose alteration in 71% of patients. Topical imiquimod therapy demonstrates a high response rate for treatment of LM, with tolerable side effects. Further investigation into its efficacy in the treatment of LM in controlled clinical trials is warranted.

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