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Radiotherapeutic bandage may help treat skin cancer

The bandages can be tailored for specific tumors, and could make it easier to treat difficult tumors.

By
Stephen Feller
Using a bandage to deliver treatment for skin cancer would allow doctors to treat tumors that may be difficult to remove or expose to radiation because of the size of machines. Photo by Image Point Fr/Shutterstock
Using a bandage to deliver treatment for skin cancer would allow doctors to treat tumors that may be difficult to remove or expose to radiation because of the size of machines. Photo by Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- In most cases, surgery to remove non-melanoma skin cancers is the best option for treatment, and radiation therapy is also used for inoperable or reoccurring lesions.

Searching for a better method more tailored to specific patients' cancers, researchers are evaluating a radiotherapeutic bandage which could be used with tumors that are difficult or impossible to completely remove with surgery.

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"Radiation has a tendency to be a systemic, yet aggressive treatment for patients," said Dr. Anthony Di Pasqua, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy, in a press release. Using something like a bandage, he said, would allow doctors to more carefully apply radiation therapy.

Researchers created electrospun polymer nanofibrous mats, or bandages, using holmium-165 nanoparticles and the synthetic polymer plyacrylonitrile.

After grafting skin cancer tumors onto mice, researchers tested the bandages. The mice were treated with the bandages for one hour a day and tumor sizes were measured before and after treatment.

Fifteen days after treatment, three of the 10 mice treated with bandages had complete tumor elimination, while the other seven's tumors were significantly smaller in comparison with the control group.

Researchers plan to test the bandages in larger animals, as well as work to optimize the dose of radiation needed for the bandages to be effective.

The study was presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

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