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Topical Imiquimod Compared With Surgery in Treating Patients With Basal Cell Skin Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00066872
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 7, 2003
Last Update Posted : September 17, 2013
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Brief Summary:

RATIONALE: Biological therapies such as imiquimod use different ways to stimulate the immune system and stop cancer cells from growing. It is not yet known if topical imiquimod is more effective than surgery in treating basal cell skin cancer.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying how well topical imiquimod works compared to surgery in treating patients with basal cell skin cancer.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Non-melanomatous Skin Cancer Drug: imiquimod Procedure: conventional surgery Phase 3

Detailed Description:


  • Compare the rate of local recurrence at 3 years in patients with nodular or superficial basal cell skin cancer treated with imiquimod 5% cream vs excisional surgery.
  • Compare recurrence at 6 months and 1, 2, and 5 years in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the time to first recurrence in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the aesthetic appearance of lesion sites in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare pain in patients treated with these regimens.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to participating center and lesion type (nodular vs superficial). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive topical imiquimod to a single lesion once daily for 6 weeks for a superficial lesion or 12 weeks for a nodular lesion. Patients with early treatment failure or recurrence are offered surgical excision.
  • Arm II: Patients undergo surgical excision. Patients are followed at 6, 12, and 18 weeks, every 6 months for 1 year, annually for 2 years, and then at 5 years.

Peer Reviewed and Funded or Endorsed by Cancer Research UK

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 500 patients will be accrued for this study within 18 months.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 500 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Excisional Surgery Versus Imiquimod 5% Cream for Nodular and Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma
Study Start Date : October 2002
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Skin Cancer
Drug Information available for: Imiquimod

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Absence of local recurrence at 3 years after start of treatment

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Recurrence of basal cell cancer (BCC) at 1, 2, and 5 years
  2. Time to first occurrence up to 5 years from completion of study treatment
  3. Aesthetic appearance of lesion site as measured by participant and blind observer using 5-point Likert scale at 6 months, and then years 1-3
  4. Pain at lesion site as measured by 6-point scale daily during treatment, and then 16 weeks after the completion of study treatment
  5. Cost effectiveness assessed up to 3 or 5 years

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed primary basal cell skin carcinoma

    • Nodular or superficial lesion(s)*
    • Located in low-risk areas NOTE: *Any number of lesions are allowed but only 1 lesion per patient is selected for the study
  • No genetic or nevoid conditions (e.g., Gorlin's syndrome)
  • No morphoeic (microinfiltrative) histology



  • Any age

Performance status

  • Not specified

Life expectancy

  • Not specified


  • No bleeding disorder


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception during and for up to 1 month after study participation
  • No allergy to any of the study interventions
  • No life-threatening disease
  • Must be available for study follow-up for up to 3 years
  • Must have access to a telephone


Biologic therapy

  • Not specified


  • Not specified

Endocrine therapy

  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • No concurrent participation in any other experimental trial

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00066872

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United Kingdom
Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Chesterfield, England, United Kingdom, S44 5BL
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom, NG7 2UH
Solihull Hospital
Solihull, England, United Kingdom, B91 2JL
Sponsors and Collaborators
Queen's Medical Centre
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OverallOfficial: Mara Ozolins, MS Queen's Medical Centre
Publications of Results:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00066872    
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000320513
First Posted: August 7, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 17, 2013
Last Verified: September 2009
Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
basal cell carcinoma of the skin
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Skin Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Skin Diseases
Adjuvants, Immunologic
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antineoplastic Agents
Interferon Inducers