Topical pharmacotherapy for skin cancer: Part II. Clinical applications

Giuseppe Micali, Francesco Lacarrubba, Maria Rita Nasca, Salvatore Ferraro, Robert A. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The purpose of the paper is to provide an in-depth, evidence-based analysis of the clinical use of topical treatments for skin cancer. A comprehensive review of topical drugs has been performed, including 5-fluorouracil, imiquimod, diclofenac, ingenol mebutate, retinoids, resiquimod, piroxicam, dobesilate, and betulinic acid. The evaluated studies were rated according to their level of evidence level (I-V), as indicated by recent guidelines for evidence-based medicine, The Oxford 2011 Levels of Evidence. Therapeutic response is generally related to tumor type, extent, and localization, and also to patient compliance. Careful patient selection is required in order to achieve the desired goal of complete tumor clearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979.e1-979.e12
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


  • Bowen disease
  • Paget disease
  • actinic keratosis
  • basal cell carcinoma
  • erythroplasia of Queyrat
  • lentigo maligna
  • melanoma
  • skin cancer
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • topical treatment


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