Objective: To explore methods suitable for quantitative assessment of the efficacy of chemopreventive intervention.
Study design: High-resolution imagery of nuclei from the suprabasal and basal cell layers of sun-damaged skin were recorded. There were 10 cases. A shave biopsy was taken from an area of clearly evident solar keratosis before and after treatment with 2-difluoromethyl-dlornithine (DFMO) and from the colateral forearm, treated with a placebo. A number of karyometric variables were computed and combined to derive marker features that provided a numeric measure of the degree of nuclear deviation from normal.
Results: DFMO treatment was effective overall in reducing the degree of nuclear abnormality seen in the biopsies; in 8 of the 10 cases there was a significant improvement. The placebo-treated arm did not show a statistically different abnormality from the untreated arm.
Conclusion: Karyometric analysis can provide numeric measures that allow documentation of statistically significant regression of actinic keratotic lesions following treatment with DFMO.