Doctors are working to learn more about skin cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
Photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic therapy is the use of a cream or other medication that may be combined with light or laser therapy to remove identified skin lesions.
Topical medications for actinic keratoses. Ongoing clinical trials of topical medications (creams or lotions) for use on actinic keratoses are being studied to prevent second cancers.
Imiquimod for superficial squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer. As explained in Treatment, imiquimod is a type of immune response modifier in which the body uses its own immune system as a method of treatment. Research is ongoing to learn more about imiquimod's uses.
EGFR inhibitors for advanced or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma. Many squamous cell carcinomas express epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a tumor protein that helps cancer cells grow. Several clinical trials are investigating whether drugs that inhibit EGFR are effective against advanced or metastatic disease.
“Hedgehog pathway” inhibitor for advanced basal cell carcinoma. Researchers are studying the use of a “hedgehog pathway” inhibitor (GDC-0449) in treating people with these cancers who have the PTCH1 genetic mutation, which contributes to the uncontrolled growth of basal cell carcinoma. Learn more about this type of approach, called targeted therapy.
Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current skin cancer treatments, in order to improve patients' comfort and quality of life.
Learn more about common statistical terms used in cancer research.
To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.