Doctors at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen and Harvard Medical School in Boston have developed a new laser technique that is an easier, safer and more effective way to identify and treat the precancerous lesions that lead to skin cancer.
Politiken reports that more than 13,000 people in Denmark are diagnosed with skin cancer every year and the number is on the rise. Although the disease is rarely lethal, the treatment takes time and often leaves the patients with bad scars.
Laser treatment rarely leaves any trace at all and the plan now is to make further adjustments, so that it may also be used to treat patients after the cancer sets in.
The technique helps to boost the effect of certain anti-skin cancer creams that are used to prevent precancerous lesions from developing into skin cancer.
Helps absorbing medicine
After performing tests on pigs and humans, the team of researchers revealed that at least one type of anti-cancer cream became a lot more effective after laser treatment had prepared the skin.
"It means that we have a better chance of success treating those patients who have skin cancer or lesions all over their body. Surgeons can't just scalp a man with lesions on top of his head, but we can pierce tiny holes with a laser beam and apply cream on them," explained Dr Merete Hædersdal of Bispebjerg Hospital.
Hædersdal confirmed that the hospital has already sold the patent for the laser treatment to LEO Pharma, and she expects to be able to treat skin cancer patients with the new laser technique in 2015.