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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Feb;64(2):413-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.12.013. Epub 2010 Mar 23.

Intralesional agents in the management of cutaneous malignancy: a review.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, USA.


Intralesional agents have a role in the management of cutaneous malignancies. In this article, the efficacy, side effects, strengths, limitations, costs, and practical considerations regarding the use of intralesional agents to treat basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, selected cutaneous lymphomas, and even metastatic melanoma are reviewed. Intralesional administration of 5-fluorouracil, interferon, interleukin-2, bleomycin with electrochemotherapy, and aminolevulinic acid with photodynamic therapy are discussed as treatment modalities in basal cell carcinoma. Interferon (∼1.5 M IU, 3 times weekly × 3 weeks) is perhaps the most widely used regimen for basal cell carcinoma. With regard to squamous cell carcinoma, treatment with 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, interferon, and bleomycin are reviewed. Methotrexate (∼0.3-2.0 mL of 12.5 or 25 mg/mL, two injections ∼2 weeks apart) was perhaps the most widely used agent. Interferon (3 M IU × 3 times weekly for ∼8.5 weeks) and rituximab (10-30 mg per lesion, 3 times weekly for 1 week, possibly repeated 4 weeks later) are sometimes used in the management of primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas, whereas in primary cutaneous CD30(+) lymphoma intralesional methotrexate (0.4-0.5 mL of 50 mg/mL weekly for 2 weeks) has been used. Finally, the roles of BCG vaccine, cidofovir, rose bengal, and bleomycin with electrochemotherapy for the palliation of metastatic melanoma are reviewed. Intralesional management appears most useful when surgical intervention is not a viable option, for cases in which the cosmetic outcome may be superior, or for situations in which the side effects from systemic chemotherapeutic agents are to be minimized.

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