The objective of this prospective pilot study was to assess the clinical and histologic effects of topical imiquimod therapy on recurrent extramammary Paget's disease of the vulva.
Patients with biopsy-proven recurrent extramammary Paget's disease presenting to the gynecology outpatient services at two participating institutions were recruited for conservative treatment with 5% imiquimod cream from 2007 to 2011. The topical cream was to be applied 3 times per week for 12 weeks. Punch biopsy and photography were performed at baseline and at the 12-week time point.
Eight patients from two institutions were enrolled. Complete clinical and histologic response was achieved in 6 (75%) patients by the 12-week follow-up appointment. Of the two remaining patients, one had a complete clinical response but no significant histologic response; the other patient was removed from the study protocol secondary to intolerable local irritation. Two patients continue to have no evidence of disease after a median follow-up of 35 months. Five are alive with disease. No patients progressed to invasive cancer while receiving therapy.
Topical 5% imiquimod cream is a safe and feasible option for women suffering from recurrent extramammary Paget's disease of the vulva, and should be considered as a viable alternative to surgical management. Given the rare nature of this disease, additional multi-institutional prospective studies should be conducted to explore the efficacy of this treatment regime.