5-fluorouracil iontophoretic therapy for Bowen's disease

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Jun;36(6 Pt 1):956-8. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(97)80280-0.


Background: Topical 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is an accepted therapy for Bowen's disease. Recurrences with this method have been attributed to deep follicular involvement and poor patient compliance because of the prolonged treatment time required.

Objective: We sought to determine whether iontophoresis of 5-FU is an effective therapy for Bowen's disease.

Methods: Twenty-six patients with biopsy-proven Bowen's disease received eight 5-FU iontophoretic treatments in 4 weeks. Local excision was done 3 months after the last treatment. The specimens were step-sectioned and evaluated for any histologic evidence of bowenoid changes.

Results: Only 1 of 26 patients showed histologic evidence of Bowen's disease 3 months after treatment.

Conclusion: 5-FU iontophoresis appears to be a safe, effective, and well-tolerated therapy for Bowen's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Bowen's Disease / drug therapy*
  • Bowen's Disease / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil