Experimental Gel Could Battle Common Skin Cancers

A new study shows promise for a non-surgical option in treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC). BCC is the most common form of skin cancer with 3.6 million new cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

Published in Clinical Cancer Research, this study tested the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor remetinostat on 30 patients with BCC. Patients were treated with the gel for 6 weeks. Tumors were measured at the start of the study and again at 8 weeks.

Results showed an impressive 69.7% overall response rate. That means of the 33 tumors analyzed, over two-thirds shrank more than 30% in its longest diameter.

Following surgical excision at the end of the treatment period, researchers verified that 17 of the tumors had completely resolved. That is an astounding 54.8%.

This was a small pilot study looking for efficacy. Larger studies are needed before an actual treatment option is available to doctors.