Topical treatment of Bowen's disease with 5-Fluorouracil

J Cutan Med Surg. 2003 Mar-Apr;7(2):101-5. doi: 10.1007/s10227-002-0158-6. Epub 2002 Nov 27.


Background: Bowen's disease is a common skin cancer. There are many different therapeutic approaches to treatment. Topical 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) cream has been used for many years and there are many published papers attesting to its effectiveness. However, no papers have presented long-term followup results with biopsy confirmation of cure.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to present the long-term findings following the use of this cream in the treatment of Bowen's disease.

Methods: Twenty-four patients with 26 biopsy-confirmed lesions of Bowen's disease were treated with topical 5-Fluorouracil cream and were followed for periods of up to 10 years. Posttreatment biopsies were performed in most cases.

Results: Two of the 26 lesions treated topically recurred at some point. The rest were apparently cured.

Conclusion: The results presented in this article confirm that treatment of Bowen's disease with topical 5-Fluorouracil cream is safe and effective treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Bowen's Disease / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil