Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Topical Application Of Chemotherapy Drug May Improve Appearance Of Aging Skin

Date:
June 22, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Topical application of the chemotherapy medication fluorouracil appears to reduce potentially precancerous skin patches and improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, according to a new article.

Topical application of the chemotherapy medication fluorouracil appears to reduce potentially precancerous skin patches and improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, according to a new article.

Fluorouracil stops the body from synthesizing thymine, a building block of DNA, according to background information in the article. This drug is used to treat cancers of the colon, head and neck, pancreas and other organs. In early studies of patients with cancer undergoing treatment with systemic fluorouracil, clinicians noticed changes in skin appearance, which led to the development of a topical therapy for the treatment of actinic keratoses (skin lesions that may develop into skin cancer).

Dana L. Sachs, M.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, and colleagues evaluated molecular and clinical changes in the skin of 21 healthy volunteers with actinic keratoses and sun-damaged skin. Participants applied 5 percent fluorouracil cream to the face twice daily for two weeks; skin biopsies and clinical evaluations were performed at the beginning of the study and periodically throughout treatment. Photographs were also taken at the beginning of the study and after one, two, four, six, 10 and 24 weeks, and were evaluated by three dermatologists who were not involved in examining the patients during the study. Nineteen patients completed all aspects of the study, and 20 responded to a questionnaire at week 10.

The number of actinic keratoses was significantly reduced following treatment, from an average of 11.6 lesions to an average of 1.5. Clinical evaluations also identified overall improvements in aging-related damage, including decreases in fine (small) and course (large) wrinkling, lentigines (dark skin spots), hyperpigmentation (skin that has become darker) and sallowness (a yellow skin tone).

One day after the final fluorouracil treatment, testing of the skin biopsies revealed an increase in the levels of compounds related to skin injury, inflammation and degradation of the extracellular matrix (the non-living tissue that supports skin), in addition to the precursor of collagen, which rebuilds damaged skin. "Topical fluorouracil causes epidermal [outer skin layer] injury, which stimulates wound healing and dermal remodeling resulting in improved appearance," the authors write. "The mechanism of topical fluorouracil in photo-aged skin follows a predictable wound healing pattern of events reminiscent of that seen with laser treatment of photo-aging."

The treatment was generally well tolerated. On the 10-week questionnaire, most patients rated their skin as improved (19, or 95 percent) and were willing to undergo the therapy again (17, or 89 percent).

"For patients in whom a course of topical fluorouracil is indicated for the treatment of actinic keratoses, there will likely be the additional benefit of a restorative effect from sun damage; this may provide further motivation for these patients to undergo the rigorous treatment," the authors conclude. "It is possible that for some patients topical fluorouracil may have an important role against photo-aging. For others, however, it may not be cosmetically acceptable given that a standard course of therapy may last two to three weeks and the ensuing reaction can persist for several more weeks. Undoubtedly, there will be patients who desire a therapy such as topical fluorouracil for cosmetic purposes given the relatively low cost of this therapy compared with ablative laser resurfacing."

This study was supported by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dana L. Sachs; Sewon Kang; Craig Hammerberg; Yolanda Helfrich; Darius Karimipour; Jeffrey Orringer; Timothy Johnson; Ted A. Hamilton; Gary Fisher; John J. Voorhees. Topical Fluorouracil for Actinic Keratoses and Photoaging A Clinical and Molecular Analysis. Arch Dermatol., 2009;145(6):659-666 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Topical Application Of Chemotherapy Drug May Improve Appearance Of Aging Skin." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615161703.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, June 22). Topical Application Of Chemotherapy Drug May Improve Appearance Of Aging Skin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615161703.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Topical Application Of Chemotherapy Drug May Improve Appearance Of Aging Skin." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615161703.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) A study suggests people who follow a "rule of thumb" when pouring wine dispense less than those who don't have a particular amount in mind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins