Why skin cancer?
3.5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer annually – a greater number than all other cancers combined.
Current treatments are painful, have harsh side effects and leave scars. Most treatments focus on freezing, burning, or excising the cancer, yet the majority of what is frozen, burned, or cut out is healthy tissue. Large wounds and long healing times are typical and often reconstruction is required.
Skin cancer is superficial, so testing is accessible and non-invasive. Basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes and was therefore a safer starting point then melanoma which once found must be immediately removed.
Cancer prevents it’s own cells from undergoing the natural process of programmed cell death and disintegration (apoptosis). Restoring apoptosis is conventionally attempted using chemotherapy with serious toxic side effects. As a natural process, apoptosis does not lead to the side effects seen with necrosis, excision or ablation.
Photometics’ patented, Selective Photo-Apoptosis technology was developed to promote apoptosis in targeted tumor cells without toxic drugs and/or surgical wounds of healthy tissue.
Photometics developed its patented cancer treatment using novel animal models co-developed with Jackson Laboratory, a leading supplier of mice for cancer research, and Sutter Health in Sacramento.
The significant and compelling success demonstrated in preclinical studies led to rapid approval of the Phase 1 human trial conducted at U.C. Davis Medical Center.
A Phase 1 clinical trial of 30 human patients with basal cell carcinoma was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the UC Davis Medical Center. The study began in November 2012 under the leadership of April Armstrong, MD, Director of Clinical Research in Dermatology.
Initial results from the first nine patients demonstrated non-invasive cancer resolution after one treatment evidenced by tissue histology of excised tumors. The first two versions of Photometics’ laser were unstable enough to complete the Phase 1 and subsequent planned clinical trial phases that required development of new technology.