Both Imiquimod 5% cream and topical 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) have been used to treat basal cell carcinoma (BCC) with a fair amount of success (~60 to 90% success rate at 5-year follow-up) {1}.

Imiquimod and 5-Fluorouracil work differently, e.g. from {1}:

  • Imiquimod is a toll-like receptor that modifies the immune response via the up-regulation of cytokines and has the capacity to improve a person’s immune response.
  • 5-Fluorouracil attacks cancer cells by inhibiting thymidylate synthetase.

This makes me wonder: does it make sense to try 5-Fluorouracil in case Imiquimod 5% cream failed to treat a BCC. In other words, how effective is topical fluorouracil to treat facial superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC) after Imiquimod 5% cream failed to treat it?


  • {1} Love WE, Bernhard JD, Bordeaux JS. Topical imiquimod or fluorouracil therapy for basal and squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review. Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(12):1431–8. https://doi.org/10.1001/archdermatol.2009.291
  • I’m voting to close this question because needs more than community knowledge to be answered reliably.
    – Thomas
    Nov 16, 2020 at 19:09
  • @Thomas What do you mean by "needs more than community knowledge to be answered reliably."? Nov 16, 2020 at 19:28
  • I was referring to the fact that a variety of your BCC related posts seem to ask things that despite your best efforts in researching primary literature and research papers did not yield satisfactory results. From that I concluded that what you are asking might need either studies or similar work and thought this SE was, from rather little response to previous similar inquiries on BCC, not having any specialist on this subject. Just my opinion, of course, and only a one vote.
    – Thomas
    Nov 16, 2020 at 20:05
  • @Thomas Closing expert questions will not help attract specialists. Nov 16, 2020 at 20:14


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