A new study, which was attended by more than 900 war veterans at high risk keratinotsitarnogo skin cancer, suggests that the use of 5% cream fluorouracil for two to four weeks may reduce the likelihood of surgical intervention for the treatment of squamous cell skin cancer by 75% during the year. A new study was published in «JAMA Dermatology» magazine.
"That information, that the use of the drug for at least five months, apparently to prevent the development of cancer in the course of the year, strongly encouraging" - the scientists noted.
The study used the same dose of fluorouracil as the treatment of actinic keratosis. Previous studies have shown that the four-week use of fluorouracil reduces the number of cases of precancerous diseases of the skin and prevents their appearance within two to three years.
"Meanwhile, the latest tools to prevent new carcinomas in patients from high-risk groups - sunscreen or oral medications - stop working when they stop using. But in the new study, five percent cream was able to provide long-lasting protection after cessation of use. In addition, it can be combined with sunscreen "- the researchers noted.
A typical approach is used to prevent the development of new carcinomas in patients who have ever been in the past, developed malignant skin tumors , it is to monitor new cancer tumors and then removing them surgically.
In between 2009 and 2013 a study was conducted VAKCC. It was attended by 932 veterans who had at least two previous basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell skin cancer. They were divided into two groups, one of which used 5% fluorouracil, and the second - like cream but without the active ingredients contained in the cream to the experimental group. All veterans of the spray on the face and ears twice a day, but no longer than four weeks. They also received a sunscreen of 30 SPF and listened to the instructions on how to protect themselves from the effects of UV rays.
Almost all participants were white men, and their average age was 71 years. Veterans are usually performed a large amount of time in the sun during their service.
All participants attended Affairs Veterans Center twice a year for two to four years to be a dermatologist examined. Neither the veterans nor the researchers dermatologists did not know that he had received fluorouracil, and who - a placebo.
Reducing the risk of skin cancer
A year later, 20 of the 464 veterans in the control group and five in the experimental group developed squamous cell skin cancer, which required surgery. Thus, scientists have recorded a 75 percent reduction in risk. Over the next three years there was no significant difference between the two groups of patients who required surgical treatment of squamous cell carcinoma.
Scientists have noted 11% decrease in basal cell cancer risk in veterans who received fluorouracil, for the first year, but this difference was not statistically significant. In the second year of cancer cases requiring surgical intervention, have increased in the experimental group, but within three or four years, and by the end of the study no significant difference between the patients were recorded. Four years later, in 298 participants developed basal cell carcinoma, while 108 people - squamous cell skin cancer.
Using fluorouracil had side effects such as redness of the skin and increase its sensitivity, but these negative effects are eliminated by terminating the application of the cream. After the first six months of the study 21% of participants in the experimental group evaluated these side effects as "serious" and 40% - as "moderate." But even after six months and at the end of a four-year study 87% of the veterans said they would repeat the treatment if it proves to be effective in reducing the risk of skin cancer.