New Drug for Basal Cell Carcinoma May Be on Horizon

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • Researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) recently tested a new drug for basal cell carcinoma for safety in humans and found that the medication safe in patients and reduced the size of the tumors more than expected. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer among fair-skinned individuals.

    The study was completed in collaboration with the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. According to Professor Khachigian, the Director of the UNSW Centre for Vascular Research It’s a smart drug, which targets a bad protein that controls tumour growth and spread...Even though we were only testing for safety, there were unexpected positive effects...The drug knocked down levels of this bad protein and the tumours shrunk in the majority of patients.” [1]

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    The new drug is a targeted molecular therapy, which are drugs that “block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth...By focusing on molecular and cellular changes that are specific to cancer, targeted cancer therapies may be more effective than other types of treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and less harmful to normal cells.” [2]

    Currently, treatment for basal cell carcinoma includes:

    This new medication may offer yet another treatment, one much less invasive, safer and more convenient than typical treatments that require surgery.

    This was the first step in the clinical trial process but researchers are already looking toward the next step, where they hope that larger doses of the medication will be even more effective in reducing basal cell carcinoma. They hope that, if all goes well, the medication would be available to patients in about 3 years.

    In addition to basal cell carcinoma, the researchers believe that this type of therapy can be used for other cancers, such as melanoma and diseases, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. They plan to begin a phase-one clinical trial for melanoma in about one month.


    “Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment Options,” 2012, Staff Writer, Skin Cancer Foundation

    [1] “New Class of Drug Targets Skin Cancer, 2013, May 7, Staff Writer,

    [2] “Targeted Cancer Therapies,” Reviewed 2012, Dec 5, Staff Writer, National Cancer Institute

Published On: May 20, 2013