More than 11,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer annually.
Each year up to 160 people in Ireland die from malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of the disease.
Now Breakthrough Cancer Research has announced it has given the green light to a research project that will see chemotherapy treatment replaced with calcium, making it non-toxic.
“We are delighted to give the green light to an exciting new skin cancer research project this July.” said the organisation in a statement.
“The novel treatment for skin cancers uses a technique called Electroporation in combination with calcium, replacing the existing combination of this technology with chemotherapy that has been available in Cork since the early 2000s. It is hoped that this new treatment could be available for patients in a clinical trial as early as November.”
Supporters of Breakthrough Cancer Research have helped fund research on the use of Electrochemotherapy (ECT) to treat skin cancers including Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCCs), Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCCs) and Melanoma.
“In one Breakthrough Cancer Research funded randomised controlled trial investigating whether Electrochemotherapy could be effectively used as a primary treatment for Basal Cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common skin cancer, patients were followed for five years.
“In the ECT group, 86% had a complete response at 60 days. 11% had a second treatment following which 100% complete response was observed and did not return after five years of follow up.” the charity reports.
Most of us are still risking sunburn regularly
The news was revealed as the charity, set up to fund world-class cancer research, launched a new campaign called ‘Let’s Get to 100% Together’ which stresses that better UV protection and new treatments are the only way to achieve 100% survival for all skin cancers.
Let’s achieve 100% survival for 100% of skin cancers together.
Don’t skip a bit when you put on your sun cream and we will continue to fund the life-saving research for those who already have a diagnosis.
Donate at https://t.co/hUE6jxsT5e #100percenttogether #makemoresurvivors pic.twitter.com/BXGhwQNplT
— Breakthrough Cancer Research (@BreakthroCancer) July 1, 2020
Breakthrough Cancer Research is asking people to increase their UV awareness, be SunSmart and not to ‘skip bits’ when applying sunscreen.
In a national survey, 73% of Irish adults admitted that they patch burn regularly. 72% do not know the UV index at which they should wear sunscreen and only 45% of people have sought medical advice for an area of skin they are worried about.