Dermatologist Discusses the Prospect of Topical Medication for Skin Cancer Prevention

A clinical trial seeks answers on how topical medication prevents common skin cancer.

Topical medication finally gets an official research grant to legitimize its effectiveness in preventing skin cancer. The U.S. Veterans Affairs recently approved a $34 million grant to a six-year clinical trial headed by Dr Martin A. Weinstock, professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University. The clinical trial seeks to understand the impact and role of topical medication in preventing skin cancer, which happens to be the most common variety of cancer in the U.S.

The study will focus on “imiquimod,” a topical medication that stands out because of its minimal side effects. The objective is to evaluate if it works as a preventive measure against basal cell carcinoma. Dr Weinstock leads the trial and co-chairman Dr Robert Dellavalle, chief of dermatology for the V.A. Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

The prevention of basal cell carcinoma takes immediacy because when it develops in the face, there’s a possibility of surgery to avoid severe health complications. Las Vegas Skin & Cancer Warm Springs – Dermatologist Las Vegas is one of the thousands of clinics in the country, hoping to obtain an effective preventive solution finally. There’s significant anticipation for the result of the study since thousands of patients will benefit from it. It doesn’t only avoid the prospect of surgery, but it also reduces the need for medical visits.

There’s no denying the lasting marks of having surgery, especially when dealing with lesions on the skin. For some patients, the damage and scars are worn forever. There’s no other way to treat this type of cancer now, so the potential of a preventive solution is legitimately promising.

The team led by Dr Weinstock will subject over 1500 participants, all of whom show high risk for basal cell carcinoma for the trial. Some of the participants are U.S. veterans. They will be asked to apply the topical medication (cream) to their faces every day for about 12 weeks. They’ll be actively monitored for the next three years to determine if the risk of developing skin cancer has reduced. There’s another year of passive follow up.

Aside from studying the topical medication’s effectiveness, the team intends to collect genetic material from the participants. It will be used to identify the factors that put specific individuals at greater risk of developing tolerance to the medication. Hence, it will allow clinics and medical centers like Las Vegas Skin & Cancer Warm Springs – Dermatologist Las Vegas to target therapy to patients who are likely to benefit from it most efficiently.

Weinstock has been campaigning to develop a preventive measure against basal and squamous cell carcinoma for three decades. This is his third involvement in a study related to skin cancer. The team hopes that the grant provided to them won’t go to waste by coming up with a compelling result.