Background: Wide excision or Mohs surgery is the standard treatment of skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Superficial SCC or tumor smaller than 1cm has been treated successfully with open spray cryosurgery. Larger tumor may not be as effective because tissue destruction is usually superficial. Intralesional cryosurgery (IC) may provide a deeper and better cell killing effect in larger tumors. We investigated the safety and efficacy of treating nodular SCC in 4 patients with IC. Methods: Four patients with nodular SCC/keratoacanthoma (tumor size, 1-2.5cm, average 1.48cm) on the face and extremity were treated with IC. An 18-ga needle was connected to a cryogun and inserted into the center of the tumor after local anesthesia. The tumors were treated with 2 freeze-thaw cycles with a 5- to 10-mm free margin. Additional IC or open spray cryosurgery was applied if residual tumor was noted during monthly follow-up. Results: No patient required analgesics or experienced wound infection after the procedures. After IC, all tumors reduced 40% to 75% in size within 1 week. Two patients received 1 additional spray cryosurgery. Complete remission was noted in all tumors (100%) in 2 months. No recurrence was noted during follow-up (average 5.1 years). All patients were satisfied with the results. Conclusion: Our observation suggests that IC can be simple and effective alternative treatment for SCC patients whose condition is not suitable for or who refused operation.
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