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Fukushima in a patch? Cancer industry wants patients to wear radioactive patches as 'radiotherapy' treatment

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(NaturalNews) Scientists from the University of North Texas have tested out a new radioactive bandage for the treatment of a relatively non-lethal form of skin cancer. The researchers presented the results of the small-scale trial at the 2015 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando in late October.

The patch was tested on 10 mice with squamous cell carcinoma. In three of the rats, the tumors were eradicated. In the other seven, the tumors shrank.

The researchers are promoting the radioactive bandages as a more affordable and convenient skin cancer treatment.

Made with nanotechnology

The bandages are designed specifically for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), one of two types of non-melanoma skin cancers. Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there are an estimated 700,000 cases of SCC diagnosed in the United States each year. According to the foundation, this number has increased by 200 percent in the past 30 years.

Yet in contrast with melanoma — one of the most lethal cancers — SCC is relatively non-lethal. In 2012, SCC caused between 3,900 and 8,800 deaths.

SCC is typically treated with surgery, followed by radiation to eliminate any residual traces of the tumor. Radiation is also used as a first-line treatment for inoperable SCC tumors. Currently, this radiation therapy must take place with large, specialized equipment and facilities.

The new bandage is designed for inoperable tumors or for tumors that could not be fully removed using surgery. It was created using a method called electrospinning, which uses an electrical charged to turn a liquid into thin fibers. In this case, the fibers were later made into a bandage. The liquid is a polymer containing nanoparticles of inactivated Holmium-166.

Just prior to treatment, the Holmium-166 is activated and becomes radioactive.

Further research needed

The researchers tested the bandage on 10 mice with SCC. Mice wore the bandages for one hour, then were monitored for the next 15 days. At the end of that time, three of the mice were tumor free, while the others had smaller tumors compared with a control group.

A major advantage of the treatment, the researchers said, is exposing less of the body to radiation.

"Radiation has a tendency to be a systemic, yet aggressive treatment for patients," researcher Anthony Di Pasqua said.

"These bandages can be individually tailored for easy application on tumor lesions of all shapes and sizes, and manufactured on a large scale," researcher Bhuvaneswari Koneru said.

Because the study was so small, however, further studies will be needed to replicated it. The researchers also need to confirm that the treatment would actually work on larger animals, and at what dose.

How to prevent skin cancer

Far better than having to treat SCC, of course, is preventing it in the first place. Nearly all cases of SCC are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps.

But what about vitamin D? Fortunately, you can get enough vitamin D for healthy bones and to reduce your risk of a wide variety of cancers without increasing your skin cancer risk. Your body can synthesize all the vitamin D it needs if you expose your bare face and hands to the sun once per day for about half the time it takes for your skin to start burning. This amount should not increase the risk of skin cancer.

The actual amount of time needed to get enough vitamin D varies by person, location, time of day and time of year. The farther from the equator you are and the darker your skin is, the more time you need. Outside of the tropics, it takes more time to get enough vitamin D in the winter.

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