New skin patch using P-32 shows promise in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma
Potentials in patients with facial tumours very difficult to operate on, especially if skin grafting after surgery would be a challenge
- Date : 14 Jun 2012
- Topic : Melanoma
A customised patch treatment for basal cell carcinoma completely destroys facial tumours without surgery or major radiation therapy in 80% of patients studied, researchers reported at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 2012 Annual Meeting (June 9, 2012, Miami Beach, USA).
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer that affects the surface layer of the skin. Researchers have developed a treatment called a phosphorus-32 (P-32) skin patch, a radiation spot-treatment in the form of a patch that can safely and easily kill cancerous cells in the skin with a few easy outpatient appointments. This therapy is ideal for patients with skin cancers that are very difficult to operate on, especially if skin grafting after surgery would be a challenge.
Radionuclide therapy study with a novel patch treatment without requiring hospitalisation
According to Priyanka Gupta, PhD, the lead author of the study at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, this 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.
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 also serve as an alternative treatment when surgery and radiotherapy are not possible.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), somewhere between two and three million non-melanoma skin cancers develop each year around the globe, and one in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer. In the United States, it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop the disease at some point in their lives.
In this study, a total of 10 patients between the ages of 32 and 74 years with facial basal cell carcinoma were treated with custom-made and fully sealed P-32 patches. Patients had lesions near the eyes, the nose and the forehead, and all were treated locally with the P-32 patch for three hours on an outpatient basis. The custom patches were reapplied on the fourth and seventh days after the first treatment for another three hours each, delivering a fragmented dose of 100 Gy to the cancerous lesions only—without harming deeper structures or other areas of healthy skin on the face. Biopsies were taken at three months and repeated within the three years that followed treatment, and eight out of 10 patients were found to be entirely cured and cancer free.
Further research will need to be conducted before the P-32 patch can be provided for general clinical use to treat basal cell carcinoma and similar superficial skin cancers.
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