Muir-Torre syndrome - treatment with isotretinoin and interferon alpha-2a can prevent tumour development

Dermatology. 2000;200(4):331-3. doi: 10.1159/000018399.


Muir-Torre syndrome is a genodermatosis in which multiple internal malignancies are associated with cutaneous sebaceous tumours and kerato-acanthomas. A 57-year-old man presented with multiple sebaceous tumours, kerato-acanthomas, verrucous carcinoma of the nose, renal cell and transitional cell carcinomas of the left kidney, adenoma of the colon and a positive family history of colon carcinoma. He was treated with interferon (IFN-alpha2a) s.c. 3 x 10(6) U three times a week along with 50 mg isotretinoin daily as well as topical isotretinoin gel. During a follow-up of 29 months, only 1 sebaceous skin tumour developed and was removed, whereas more than 30 such skin tumours had been surgically removed during the last 3 years. No evidence of internal tumour development or recurrence was found. The combination of IFN with retinoids seems to be of promise to prevent tumour development in Muir-Torre syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sebaceous Gland Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Sebaceous Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / pathology
  • Syndrome


  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Isotretinoin