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Extramammary Paget Disease Treatment & Management

  • Author: Neil Sandhu, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Oct 03, 2014


Three separate reports describe successful treatment of extramammary Paget disease (EMPD) with 5-fluorouracil,[7] imiquimod,[8, 9] and a combination of paclitaxel and trastuzumab.[10]

Specifically, imiquimod 5% cream applied 3 times weekly for 16 weeks induced complete resolution in a patient with perineal EMPD. Topical imiquimod is considered a possible treatment option, especially when surgery is a challenge or contraindicated. However, more studies are needed to confirm the use of topical therapies for patients with EMPD.[11]


Surgical Excision

Margin-controlled surgical excision of all the involved epidermis is the most effective treatment. EMPD extends beyond the visibly involved margins. Obviously involved skin should be examined by using transverse frozen sections or serial vertical sections (see Workup). Multiple scouting biopsies performed before surgery may aid in planning a more precise initial excision.[12]

Multifocal disease is a challenge for any surgical method that relies on contiguous tumor spread for effective margin control—even micrographic surgery. However, Mohs micrographic surgery offers lower recurrence rates after excision of primary tumors with a smaller margin of normal skin removed.[13, 14] The recurrence rate of primary tumors after standard surgical excision is 30-60%. The rate after excision with Mohs micrographic surgery is 8-26%. The average time to recurrence is 2.5 years, with case reports of more than 10 years follow-up.


Consultations and Long-Term Monitoring

Depending on the anatomic location of EMPD, treatment should be coordinated with an appropriate surgical subspecialist (eg, a urologist, a colorectal surgeon, or a gynecologist). Optimally, the consultant would have some experience treating this specific condition. Further consultation with a radiologist and a gastroenterologist may also be required to order appropriate screening examinations for internal malignancy.

Patients with EMPD require follow-up examination every 3 months after surgery to assess possible recurrence. This routine should continue for at least 24 months, after which time examinations may be done annually. Consider repeating other endoscopic or imaging studies on a regular basis according to the specific recommendations of the consultants.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Neil Sandhu, MD Dermatologist (Medical/Cosmetics) and Mohs Surgeon, Gulf Coast Dermatology

Neil Sandhu, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Marjan Garmyn, MD, PhD Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; Chair and Adjunct Head, Department of Dermatology, University of Leuven, Belgium

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Michael J Wells, MD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, and Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Joseph L Wilde, MD Chief, Department of Dermatology, Vicenza Army Health Center, Italy

Joseph L Wilde, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Photomicrograph of malignant melanoma in situ of skin displays prominent intraepidermal pagetoid spread. Note that melanoma cells are present in all layers of epidermis, mostly in single units. Cytoplasm of melanoma cells is vacuolated. Moderate upper dermal chronic inflammatory infiltrate is present (hematoxylin-eosin, original magnification ×250). S-100 protein and homatropine methylbromide immunostains are positive in melanoma cells, whereas carcinoembryonic antigen is negative. No epithelial mucin is seen in these tumor cells.
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