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Pilot Study Finds Adding Topical Imiquimod To Laser Therapy Improves The Response Of Port Wine Stain Birthmarks
Date:11/18/2008

n experienced a better and statistically significant degree of fading over time as compared to test sites that received PDL therapy alone or Imiquimod alone. For the test sites receiving Imiquimod therapy alone, no drug-induced fading of port wine stains was observed.

Researchers reported that the enhanced fading obtained on the port wine stain test sites treated with PDL and Imiquimod was maintained up to 12 months following laser therapy. In addition, the combined therapy was found to be safe with only minor side effects which resolved in all patients without medical intervention.

"While more clinical trials need to be conducted to confirm these results, we are encouraged by these early findings and expect that future studies using different dosing measurements of Imiquimod or more frequent application of the drug could further enhance patient outcomes," said Dr. Mihm. "Since all tumors rely on blood vessel growth, the implications of this study are further evidence of the importance of anti-angiogenesis in inhibiting the growth of other types of tumors, even cancerous tumors, with this therapy."
Although the favorable results using PDL and Imiquimod for fading of port wine stain birthmarks were only studied in Asian patients, study collaborator J. Stuart Nelson, MD, PhD, professor of surgery and biomedical engineering at the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, University of California, Irvine, in Irvine, Calif., added that similar results would be expected in patients of any ethnic background.
    
"Generally, Asians and other patients with darker skin types do not respond as well to PDL therapy as Caucasians and other patients with lighter skin types," said Dr. Nelson. "The fact that the Asian patients in this study experienced such favorable results in the fading of their port wine stains with this combined therapy is extremely encouraging for the future treatmen
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