Role of non-surgical therapies in the management of periocular basal cell carcinoma and squamous intra-epidermal carcinoma: a case series and review of the literature

Sasi K. Attili, Sally H. Ibbotson, Colin Fleming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous intra-epidermal carcinoma (IEC) are the most common periocular tumours and can be associated with significant morbidity. Five percent of imiquimod cream and photodynamic therapy (PDT) are popular non-surgical treatment options but are currently not licensed for periocular use.

    Objectives: To review our experience with these treatments and summarize published literature (PubMed: up to September 2011).

    Patients and Methods: We conducted a review of case notes for all patients with periocular BCC and IEC treated with either PDT or imiquimod, within National Health Service (NHS) Tayside, Scotland, from 1996 to 2009. Results: Six of 13 and five of 12 lesions treated with imiquimod (median duration of clearance = 35 months; range = 24-55 months) and PDT (median duration of clearance = 66 months; range = 4-80 months), respectively, achieved clinical clearance. The majority of patients in our series did manage to tolerate and continue both treatments, with no significant longer-term adverse effects.

    Conclusions: Our limited experience along with published reports suggests that both imiquimod and PDT are effective in the treatment of periocular non-melanoma skin cancers in selected patients. However, surgical excision with margin control remains the gold standard for the treatment of periocular tumours.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)68-79
    Number of pages12
    JournalPhotodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • Eye
    • Antineoplastic Agents
    • Humans
    • Photochemotherapy
    • Aged
    • Carcinoma, Basal Cell
    • Skin Neoplasms
    • Aminoquinolines
    • Aged, 80 and over
    • Middle Aged
    • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
    • Administration, Topical
    • Female
    • Male

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