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.
"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.