A randomized, open, controlled trial of tretinoin 0.05% cream vs. low-dose oral isotretinoin for the treatment of field cancerization

Published on Wednesday, 24 May 2023


Background: Sun exposure may lead to actinic keratoses (AKs), field cancerization, and skin cancer. Effective treatment of AKs and field cancerization is important. Oral and topical retinoids can be used for this purpose. To compare clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical effects of oral and topical retinoid for AKs and field cancerization on face and upper limbs of immunocompetent patients, as well as the impact on quality of life, safety, and tolerability.

Methods: This study compared 10 mg/day oral isotretinoin (ISO) to 0.05% tretinoin cream (TRE) every other night, associated with sunscreen (SPF 60). Patients of both genders, aged 50-75 years, underwent cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen for AKs at baseline and after 120 days when they were randomized into two groups, TRE (n = 31) and ISO (n = 30), for 6 months. Outcome measures were: number of AKs, histological (thickness of stratum corneum and epithelium) and immunohistochemical parameters (p53, Bcl-2 and Bax), dermatology life quality index (DLQI), and adverse events.

Results: Both treatments reduced the number of AKs (around 28%), the thickness of stratum corneum, and expression of p53 and Bax. By contrast, the epithelium thickness and Bcl-2 expression increased. There was no difference in the outcomes between TRE and ISO. Both treatments improved quality of life and were well tolerated with minimal side effects.

Conclusions: Retinoids are effective and safe for field cancerization. Classical treatments for field cancerization (imiquimod and ingenol mebutate) are used for a short period; retinoids may be a good choice to intercalate with them and can be used continuously.


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See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;


- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - All-Trans Retinoic Acid, Analogues and/or Derivatives - Approximately 60mg per day orally: 40mg per day Beta-Carotene/β-Carotene, 10mg per day ATRA and 10mg per day Axerophthol palmitate);

- All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives) - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Solution of retinoids in vitamin E in the Di Bella Method biological multitherapy;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Alpha tocopheryl acetate/Vitamin E, approximately 20 grams per day orally);

- Cancer and Vitamin E (analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;


- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.