More than one million people are diagnosed with basal-cell skin cancer every year. Now doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have been testing a skin cream that they say could be the skin cancer answer.
The new treatment is called Imiquimod. Actually, it's used already in the treatment of genital warts, but the Dallas doctors say this product stimulates the skin's immune system allowing the body to attack the cancer. "We saw an 88% response rate in terms of total clearance, total cure," says Dr. Amit Pandya, a Dermatologist.
Doctors still remove suspicious spots and evaluate them. If it's cancer, patients begin using the cream daily for six weeks. But doctors are so pleased with the cream as a cancer fighter that they hope the next phase of the study will eliminate the surgery, so patients can just use the cream instead.
A bigger study of Imiquimod is about to begin in Europe. Meanwhile, the UT doctors say they hope the cream will get FDA approval in the treatment of skin cancer within the next couple of years.