Sequential curettage, 5-fluorouracil, and photodynamic therapy for field cancerization of the scalp and face in solid organ transplant recipients

Anokhi Jambusaria-Pahlajani, Stephanie Ortman, Chrysalyne D. Schmults, Christine Liang

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Field cancerization with actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinoma in situ (AK/SCCIS) represents a common therapeutic challenge in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs). These patients often show inadequate responses to methods traditionally used as monotherapy (e.g., topical chemotherapy). OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical outcomes and feasibility of a sequential approach to treatment of field cancerization in SOTRs. METHODS: Four SOTRs with field cancerization of the scalp and/or face were treated using a sequential approach. Light curettage of hypertrophic lesions was followed by application of 5-fluorouracil 5% cream twice daily for 5 days and photodynamic therapy (PDT) with 1-hour incubation on day 6. Pain level during and after PDT was recorded. Photographs were obtained immediately before and after treatment and at follow-up appointments. RESULTS: All 4 patients tolerated this approach well and demonstrated excellent responses to treatment with complete or near-complete clinical resolution of AK/SCCIS lesions. Patients remained free of AK/SCCIS based on clinical examination 1 to 6 months after treatment. CONCLUSION: For SOTRs with field cancerization, sequential therapy represents a viable therapeutic regimen with good tolerability and durable clinical response. This approach warrants further investigation to determine which therapeutic combinations have optimal tolerability and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S66-S72
JournalDermatologic Surgery
StatePublished - 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Surgery

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