Background: Imiquimod 5% cream can reduce or clear superficial and small nodular basal cell carcinoma (BCC). It could be used as a pretreatment of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) to decrease defect size. Objectives: To study if a pretreatment with imiquimod 5% cream decreases defect size after MMS. In addition, to study the effect on the number of Mohs stages and reconstruction time. Methods: Seventy patients aged >18 years with a primary nodular BCC in the face were included. The imiquimod group used imiquimod 5% cream for 4 weeks, before MMS. The control group was treated with MMS only. Tumour and defect sizes were measured. We noted the number of Mohs stages, reconstruction time and side-effects. Results: The median percentage increase in area from tumour size at baseline to the post-MMS defect for the imiquimod group was significantly less compared with the control group, 50% vs. 147% (P < 0.001). A tendency towards fewer Mohs stages in the imiquimod group was observed and the reconstruction time was significantly shorter in this group (P = 0.01). Conclusions: Imiquimod 5% cream as pretreatment of MMS significantly reduced the tumour size in primary nodular BCC and reduced the surgical defect size. Further research is necessary to investigate cost-effectiveness.

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Journal British Journal of Dermatology
van der Geer-Rutten, S, Martens, J.W.M, van Roij, J, Brand, E, Ostertag, J.U, Verhaegh, M.E, … Krekels, G.A.M. (2012). Imiquimod 5% cream as pretreatment of Mohs micrographic surgery for nodular basal cell carcinoma in the face: A prospective randomized controlled study. British Journal of Dermatology, 167(1), 110–115. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10924.x