topical skin cancer treatmentA topical skin cancer treatment showed promising results in a study done in Rome, reports The Telegraph.

The topical treatment is for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. The cream kills tumors using rhenium-188, a radioactive isotope, and does not damage the skin around it.

In a study of 1,000 patients, the researchers reported that it removed the tumors in 95% of patients after one treatment.

Basal cell carcinoma, which grows slowly and is the least likely form of skin cancer to spread, is usually surgically removed. The topical treatment would offer an alternative so that patients with tumors on their faces could avoid scarring.

Dr. Ulli Köster, a researcher at the Institut Laue-Langevin in France, where the radioactive material is produced, said, “Typically this disease is treated by surgery, and since it doesn’t metastasize this is usually okay. But the problem is if the tumor is on the face, on the nose, ear or somewhere, it is strongly disfiguring – someone can have a big scar or lose half of his face.”

During treatment with the cream, a base layer is applied to the skin to protect the healthy cells from the radioactive isotope. The radioactive cream is then applied over the base and targets the tumor. Dr. Köster described it as “a localized radiation therapy.”

The researchers believe it could improve patients’ quality of life, because they could avoid facial scarring.

According to the report, the next step will be larger trials in Germany. There was no word on whether trials were planned for the United States.

Reconstruction Following Skin Cancer Removal

For those who have had skin cancer surgically removed, Dr. Mandell-Brown is a skin cancer reconstruction expert in Ohio.

He can help restore your body or face to its state before the cancer treatment, using techniques such as grafts, local flaps, and larger flaps to repair the defect. In addition, a scar’s edge may be smoothed with lasers, dermabrasion, or scar revisions. Contact Dr. Mandell-Brown to learn more about skin cancer reconstruction.