Patchwork-Kill for Skin Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma treatment with a phosphorus 32 patch in development

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Not all cancer treatments have to be a major life event. For one type of skin cancer, researchers just slapped a fancy band-aid on it.

Researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's annual meeting outlined the results from their skin cancer study on basal cell carcinoma, using patches with phosphorus-32 as a treatment for the most common form of skin cancer.

Researchers concluded that their treatment was successful in showing a low cost, easily applied treatment for basal cell carcinoma, and announced plans to begin further testing in hopes of starting larger clinical trials.

"Ask your oncologist about new skin cancer treatments."

Although results were quite promising, with 8 out of the 10 patients skin cancer-free three years after the completion of the treatment, the study did not include enough cases for firm conclusions to be drawn from the data.

Overall, ten patients were enlisted in the study, and biopsies were repeatedly taken at three-month intervals. Analysis of the biopsies showed negative results for cancer at the three-month mark for all ten.

Then the data gets interesting.

Biopsies at the six-month mark showed cancer recurrence in one of the two patients, and researchers concluded the other had residual cancer. The other eight remained cancer free for the following three years, with no toxicity seen.

"The study is important for the field of nuclear medicine as it opens a new dimension in the field of therapeutic nuclear medicine and dermatology, especially for the treatment of skin malignancies," says Priyanka Gupta, PhD, lead author of the study and a professor who teaches at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

"For patients, it is beneficial because it is a simple, inexpensive and convenient procedure that does not require them to be admitted to the hospital. This may become the standard procedure for treating basal cell carcinoma or serve as an alternative when surgery and radiotherapy are not possible."

Research presented at conferences is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

No financial disclosures were made by researchers.

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Review Date: 
June 14, 2012
Last Updated:
June 17, 2012