Washington, June 16 (ANI): A new study, conducted by researcher from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has shown that a radioactive skin patch can safely and successfully treat basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common types of skin cancers.
Study's lead author Priyanka Gupta, a nuclear medicine technologist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at AIIMS, says that the skin patch, which delivers the radioactive phosphorus-32, is non-toxic and could be an excellent alternative to surgery or radiotherapy in cases where carrying out these treatments is difficult.
"While basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal, it can be a painful and disfiguring disease," Gupta said.
"It's exciting to think that this patch can deliver treatment on an outpatient basis with little risk of the scarring or other complications that surgery or radiotherapy present. This study opens a new dimension not only for treating skin malignancies, but also for nuclear medicine therapy in general," she added.
The study followed eight adult patients who elected to try the patch instead of surgery or radiotherapy. All patients had basal cell carcinoma on the face, and none had cancer cells in underlying facial structures.
Sealed patches containing radioactive phosphorus-32 that deliver beta radiation to the cancer site were custom-made according to the shape and size of each patient's skin cancer lesions.
The patches were applied locally on the cancer sites for three hours. The patches were then reapplied to each patient's cancer sites two more times on subsequent days, each time for three hours. The treatment took about a week to administer.
Three months after treatment, biopsies of all of the patients' skin cancer sites revealed no residual malignant cancer. The treatment had few adverse effects and resulted in minimal scarring.
In addition, routine blood and biochemical exams did not reveal any toxicity from the radioactive patches. Phosporous-32 poses no external radiation hazards, and its limited range prevents beta radiation from reaching the bone or underlying blood vessels, thus sparing the bone and bone marrow.
The study was presented at SNM's 56th Annual Meeting. (ANI)