New patch treatment destroys facial tumors

June 13, 2012

Researchers in India report they have developed a radiation spot treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) that destroys facial tumors without surgery or major radiation therapy in 80 percent of patients in a small study.

New Delhi - Researchers in India report they have developed a radiation spot treatment for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) that destroys facial tumors without surgery or major radiation therapy in 80 percent of patients in a small study.

In their study, researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences used the phosphorus-32 (P-32) skin patch to treat 10 patients, ages 32 to 74, with facial BCCs near the eyes, nose and forehead, according to a Society of Nuclear Medicine news release.

All patients were treated locally with the P-32 patch for three hours. The patches were reapplied on the fourth and seventh days for another three hours each, delivering a fragmented dose of 100 Gy (a measurement of radiation exposure) to the cancerous lesions only. No harm was done to deeper structures or other areas of healthy skin. Biopsies were taken at three months and repeated within three years, after which eight of the 10 patients were free of cancer.

The study results suggest this type of treatment could serve as an alternative therapy when radiotherapy and surgery are not options, the study authors noted. They said further research is needed before the P-32 patch could be provided for general clinical use to treat BCCs and similar superficial skin cancers.

Results of the study were presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting in Miami Beach, Fla.

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