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Potential Skin Cancer Breakthrough Tested at Scottsdale Healthcare Published Today in New England Journal of Medicine
Date:9/2/2009

Hedgehog trial results suggest antitumor activity in basal cell skin cancer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine reports a potential new investigational therapy for advanced and metastatic basal cell skin cancer tested at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and other sites appears to demonstrate tumor shrinkage and limited side effects in patients.

"Inhibition of the Hedgehog Pathway in Advanced Basal-Cell Carcinoma" is authored by lead investigator Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, a world-renowned expert in developing new drugs for patients with cancer. Dr. Von Hoff is an oncologist and chief scientific officer at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, physician-in-chief at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and chief scientific officer at US Oncology.

The article appears online at NEJM.org and will be included in the Sept. 17 issue of New England Journal of Medicine.

These findings are significant because there is no proven therapy for advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC). BCC is the most common cancer in the United States with about one million new cases diagnosed each year. Arizona has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world.

Typically diagnosed with a simple biopsy, the risk of BCC increases for individuals with a family history or prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Most patients are cured by surgery, but if left untreated or if spread to other organs, then scarring and disfigurement, and even death may result.

In a Phase I clinical trial conducted in Arizona at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Dr. V
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SOURCE Scottsdale Healthcare
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