Treating Precancerous Skin Lesions With Fewer Side Effects

Precancerous skin lesions can be treated with topical targeted therapies to significantly reduce their size and inhibit the growth of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of cancer.

Two treatments—small-molecule kinase inhibitors known as dasatinib and BEZ-235—were associated with fewer side effects compared to 5-fluorouracil, the first-line topical agent that destroys precancerous and cancer cells, but is known to have adverse side effects.

Lesions known as actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinoma in situ are known precursors to cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Every year, 700,000 new ones are reported to dermatologists in the United States, which incur treatment costs of about $1.6 billion. Today, many of the topical drugs used to treat them include 5-fluorouracil, imiquimod, diclofenac, and ingenol mebutate, but these agents have limitations. Some cause inflammation, have suboptimal results, or are very costly.

SOURCES- University of Pennsylvania