What is it about?

This randomized controlled trial compare the effectiveness of cryosurgery versus curettage for non-facial, superficial basal cell carcinomas (BCCs). Overall clinical clearance rates after one year were 95.7% for curettage and 100% for cryosurgery. In addition, the wound healing times were shorter with curettage than with cryosurgery.

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Why is it important?

The high prevalence of BCC results in a significant economic burden on healthcare. Surgery is the standard treatment for BCCs but for low-risk BCCs, destructive methods are alternate options. Cryosurgery, as well as curettage combined with electrodesiccation are established treatment methods. Curettage alone is used for benign lesions, but has not been sufficiently evaluated in the treatment of BCCs. This study shows that for superficial BCCs, both cryosurgery and curettage alone, which are simple, cheap and can be performed on the patient’s first visit, provide high clinical clearance rates after one year.

Perspectives

I hope this article contributes to a strengthened evidence for destructive treatments as safe and effective treatment options for superficial BCCs. The lack of standardized treatment protocols has been identified as a drawback for destructive treatments. This study provides detailed descriptions of how the procedures were performed including video demonstrations, which I hope will be a welcome addition to the standardization of these treatment procedures.

Eva Backman
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Curettage versus cryosurgery for superficial basal cell carcinoma: a prospective, randomised and controlled trial, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, May 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/jdv.18209.
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