Skin Cancer

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clock Apr 11, 2007 6:32 pm US/Eastern

New Cream Could Fight Against Skin Cancer

To learn more about the study, visit Arizona Skin Center's Web site.

Tanning can give you a “healthy” look

“I did spend way too much time out in the sun, you know, working on a tan,” John Jensen, a skin cancer patient, said.

But he knows the consequences of that golden glow.

“I've had probably 100 squamous cells taken off by, in the last 10 or 15 years," he said.

Since he has a history of skin cancer, biopsies and dermatologist visits are a regular part of his life.

But researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center hope to change that.

"We're actually looking for changes within the skin that we can identify when individuals apply this drug," said Dr. Clara Curiel, whose conducting a study on a skin cancer prevention cream.

Perillyl Alcohol, or POH, a topical skin cream, is being tested.

"We found that when we applied the POH we can actually prevent the development or decrease the number of skin cancers that we can see," she said.

These kind of results can change the lives of people like John.

"If it really can reduce or reverse sun damage and, and reduce the possibility of sun, of skin cancer, obviously it'll keep me out of the dermatologist office,” he said. “And that'll be a good thing."

Dr. Curiel is hopeful that POH will help those with skin cancer and possibly one day, those with melanoma.

"I think with melanoma, I think it would be an interesting angle to look at it because that has the highest mortality rate from all skin cancers and if this drug happen to slow down the progression you know to melanoma, that would be significant,” she said.

The study is in its second phase and is still recruiting participants. Dr. Curiel says if the cream proves beneficial, it will be a few years before it hits the market.

To learn more about the study, visit Arizona Skin Center's Web site. For more information about skin cancer, log on to the Web sites for the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

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New Cream Could Fight Against Skin Cancer