- Skin cancer treatment that can kill the cancer cells by injecting nanoparticles into the tumor, is being developed
- It can be served as a potential alternative to surgery as it can carry the chemotherapy drug to the tumor site
- The therapy can also be combined along with an agent that is capable of stimulating the body's immune system
- The treatment serves as a base for an effective as well as new molecular therapy against skin cancer
Skin cancer treatment that involves injecting nanoparticles into the tumor, is being developed by the researchers at Yale University as a potential alternative to surgery, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"For a lot of patients, treating skin cancer is much more involved than it would be if there was a way to effectively treat them with a simple procedure like an injection. That's always been a holy grail in dermatology - to find a simpler way to treat skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma", says Dr. Michael Girardi, professor, and vice-chair of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and senior author of the study.
The treatment involves the injection of polymer-based nanoparticles that carries a Chemotherapy agent to the tumor site. Due to the nanoparticles' bioadhesive nature, they can bind to the tumor matrix and remain attached to the tumors for a longer time.
Nanoparticles in Skin CancerThis therapy can also be combined with an agent capable of stimulating the body's immune system.
"I call the phenomenon 'kill and thrill. You don't want to just kill the cells and leave them there, you want to stimulate the immune system to clean up the mess and also react against cells that might not have been killed directly. So it's a two-pronged attack on cancer", says Dr. Michael Girardi.
The nanoparticle injection could eliminate the need for surgery and help avoid potential wound infections and other complications.
An injection-based therapy would also mean that patients could have multiple tumors treated in a single visit. A single dose of the chemotherapy agent is possible to excite the results against cancer cells.
The present treatment strives to advance the preclinical development and then enter clinical trials.
The ground-breaking treatment serves as a base for an effective as well as new molecular therapy against skin cancer. This may help formulate even better therapies for other cancers too.
Skin Cancer Statistics
- In the US, every hour more than 2 people die of skin cancer.
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles melanoma risk.
- The 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
Skin Cancer PreventionPreventing skin cancer by protecting yourself completely requires a comprehensive approach. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the following:
- Avoid getting sunburned and tanning.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen.
- Keep newborns out of the sun.
- Consult a dermatologist for a professional skin exam.
- Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics - (https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts/)
- Skin Cancer Prevention - (https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/)