Skip to content

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Skin Treatment


    Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with basal cell carcinoma of the skin. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


    1. Bath-Hextall FJ, Perkins W, Bong J, et al.: Interventions for basal cell carcinoma of the skin. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD003412, 2007.
    2. Rowe DE, Carroll RJ, Day CL Jr: Long-term recurrence rates in previously untreated (primary) basal cell carcinoma: implications for patient follow-up. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 15 (3): 315-28, 1989.
    3. Smeets NW, Krekels GA, Ostertag JU, et al.: Surgical excision vs Mohs' micrographic surgery for basal-cell carcinoma of the face: randomised controlled trial. Lancet 364 (9447): 1766-72, 2004 Nov 13-19.
    4. Abide JM, Nahai F, Bennett RG: The meaning of surgical margins. Plast Reconstr Surg 73 (3): 492-7, 1984.
    5. Avril MF, Auperin A, Margulis A, et al.: Basal cell carcinoma of the face: surgery or radiotherapy? Results of a randomized study. Br J Cancer 76 (1): 100-6, 1997.
    6. Petit JY, Avril MF, Margulis A, et al.: Evaluation of cosmetic results of a randomized trial comparing surgery and radiotherapy in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma of the face. Plast Reconstr Surg 105 (7): 2544-51, 2000.
    7. Rhodes LE, de Rie M, Enström Y, et al.: Photodynamic therapy using topical methyl aminolevulinate vs surgery for nodular basal cell carcinoma: results of a multicenter randomized prospective trial. Arch Dermatol 140 (1): 17-23, 2004.
    8. Thissen MR, Nieman FH, Ideler AH, et al.: Cosmetic results of cryosurgery versus surgical excision for primary uncomplicated basal cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Dermatol Surg 26 (8): 759-64, 2000.
    9. Thomas RM, Amonette RA: Mohs micrographic surgery. Am Fam Physician 37 (3): 135-42, 1988.
    10. Rowe DE, Carroll RJ, Day CL Jr: Mohs surgery is the treatment of choice for recurrent (previously treated) basal cell carcinoma. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 15 (4): 424-31, 1989.
    11. Malhotra R, Huilgol SC, Huynh NT, et al.: The Australian Mohs database, part II: periocular basal cell carcinoma outcome at 5-year follow-up. Ophthalmology 111 (4): 631-6, 2004.
    12. Thissen MR, Neumann MH, Schouten LJ: A systematic review of treatment modalities for primary basal cell carcinomas. Arch Dermatol 135 (10): 1177-83, 1999.
    13. Caccialanza M, Piccinno R, Moretti D, et al.: Radiotherapy of carcinomas of the skin overlying the cartilage of the nose: results in 405 lesions. Eur J Dermatol 13 (5): 462-5, 2003 Sep-Oct.
    14. Lovett RD, Perez CA, Shapiro SJ, et al.: External irradiation of epithelial skin cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 19 (2): 235-42, 1990.
    15. Hall VL, Leppard BJ, McGill J, et al.: Treatment of basal-cell carcinoma: comparison of radiotherapy and cryotherapy. Clin Radiol 37 (1): 33-4, 1986.
    16. Silverman MK, Kopf AW, Grin CM, et al.: Recurrence rates of treated basal cell carcinomas. Part 2: Curettage-electrodesiccation. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 17 (9): 720-6, 1991.
    17. Wang I, Bendsoe N, Klinteberg CA, et al.: Photodynamic therapy vs. cryosurgery of basal cell carcinomas: results of a phase III clinical trial. Br J Dermatol 144 (4): 832-40, 2001.
    18. Basset-Séguin N, Ibbotson S, Emtestam L, et al.: Photodynamic therapy using methyl aminolaevulinate is as efficacious as cryotherapy in basal cell carcinoma, with better cosmetic results. [Abstract] Br J Dermatol 149 (Suppl 64): A-P-66, 46, 2003.
    19. Basset-Séguin N, Ibbotson S, Emtestam L, et al.: Methyl aminolaevulinate photodynamic therapy vs. cryotherapy in primary superficial basal cell carcinoma: results of a 36-month follow-up. [Abstract] Br J Dermatol 153 (Suppl 1): A-P-30, 29. 2005.
    20. Hsi RA, Rosenthal DI, Glatstein E: Photodynamic therapy in the treatment of cancer: current state of the art. Drugs 57 (5): 725-34, 1999.
    21. Lui H, Hobbs L, Tope WD, et al.: Photodynamic therapy of multiple nonmelanoma skin cancers with verteporfin and red light-emitting diodes: two-year results evaluating tumor response and cosmetic outcomes. Arch Dermatol 140 (1): 26-32, 2004.
    22. Efudex® (fluorouracil) cream, 5% [package insert]. Aliso Viejo, Ca: Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, 2005. Available online. Last accessed March 28, 2011.
    23. Love WE, Bernhard JD, Bordeaux JS: Topical imiquimod or fluorouracil therapy for basal and squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review. Arch Dermatol 145 (12): 1431-8, 2009.
    24. Beutner KR, Geisse JK, Helman D, et al.: Therapeutic response of basal cell carcinoma to the immune response modifier imiquimod 5% cream. J Am Acad Dermatol 41 (6): 1002-7, 1999.
    25. Geisse JK, Rich P, Pandya A, et al.: Imiquimod 5% cream for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: a double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled study. J Am Acad Dermatol 47 (3): 390-8, 2002.
    26. Geisse J, Caro I, Lindholm J, et al.: Imiquimod 5% cream for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: results from two phase III, randomized, vehicle-controlled studies. J Am Acad Dermatol 50 (5): 722-33, 2004.
    27. Shumack S, Robinson J, Kossard S, et al.: Efficacy of topical 5% imiquimod cream for the treatment of nodular basal cell carcinoma: comparison of dosing regimens. Arch Dermatol 138 (9): 1165-71, 2002.
    28. Marks R, Gebauer K, Shumack S, et al.: Imiquimod 5% cream in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: results of a multicenter 6-week dose-response trial. J Am Acad Dermatol 44 (5): 807-13, 2001.
    29. Schulze HJ, Cribier B, Requena L, et al.: Imiquimod 5% cream for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma: results from a randomized vehicle-controlled phase III study in Europe. Br J Dermatol 152 (5): 939-47, 2005.
    30. Reszko A, Aasi SZ, Wilson LD, et al.: Cancer of the skin. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011, pp 1610-33.
    31. Robinson JK: Risk of developing another basal cell carcinoma. A 5-year prospective study. Cancer 60 (1): 118-20, 1987.
    32. Karagas MR, Stukel TA, Greenberg ER, et al.: Risk of subsequent basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin among patients with prior skin cancer. Skin Cancer Prevention Study Group. JAMA 267 (24): 3305-10, 1992.
    33. Schinstine M, Goldman GD: Risk of synchronous and metachronous second nonmelanoma skin cancer when referred for Mohs micrographic surgery. J Am Acad Dermatol 44 (3): 497-9, 2001.
    34. Kiiski V, de Vries E, Flohil SC, et al.: Risk factors for single and multiple basal cell carcinomas. Arch Dermatol 146 (8): 848-55, 2010.
    35. Carneiro BA, Watkin WG, Mehta UK, et al.: Metastatic basal cell carcinoma: complete response to chemotherapy and associated pure red cell aplasia. Cancer Invest 24 (4): 396-400, 2006 Jun-Jul.
    36. Pfeiffer P, Hansen O, Rose C: Systemic cytotoxic therapy of basal cell carcinoma. A review of the literature. Eur J Cancer 26 (1): 73-7, 1990.
    37. Khandekar JD: Complete response of metastatic basal cell carcinoma to cisplatin chemotherapy: a report on two patients. Arch Dermatol 126 (12): 1660, 1990.
    38. Low JA, de Sauvage FJ: Clinical experience with Hedgehog pathway inhibitors. J Clin Oncol 28 (36): 5321-6, 2010.
    39. Von Hoff DD, LoRusso PM, Rudin CM, et al.: Inhibition of the hedgehog pathway in advanced basal-cell carcinoma. N Engl J Med 361 (12): 1164-72, 2009.
    40. Skvara H, Kalthoff F, Meingassner JG, et al.: Topical treatment of Basal cell carcinomas in nevoid Basal cell carcinoma syndrome with a smoothened inhibitor. J Invest Dermatol 131 (8): 1735-44, 2011.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: February 25, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    Malignant melanoma
    About 40-50 percent of those who live to be 65 may get it. Here’s how to spot early.
    Woman checking out tan lines
    There’s a dark side to that strive for beauty. See them here.
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    12 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Melanoma
    precancerous lesions slideshow
    Do You Know Your Melanoma ABCs
    15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
    screening tests for men
    Vitamin D
    Is That Mole Skin Cancer
    Brilliant sun rays

    WebMD Special Sections