Dermatologist Dr. Sharon Merims of the Hadassah Medical Organization and Prof. Ofra Benny of the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy have jointly developed a new cream that prevents damage to healthy skin cells caused by treatment for several types of cancer. The treatments block a specific receptor on the tumor, but because this receptor is also found in healthy skin cells, some 90 percent of patients develop severe facial rashes that affect their appearance and sense of well-being.

As Dr. Merims noted, “Existing treatments to prevent or reduce toxicity and rash are not effective. In most cases, the patient’s suffering is alleviated by reducing the dose of cancer treatment or stopping treatment altogether for a short time to help the skin recover and clear the rash—but although these actions may be necessary, they can interfere with the treatment of cancerous tumors.”

The new cream contains a drug that neutralizes damage to the skin while not interfering with the treatment of the cancer. The study’s results were published in the journal “Science Translational Medicine.”

To learn more about this novel approach to dealing with skin toxicity resulting from cancer treatment, read The Jerusalem Post article here.

Photo caption:

Superresolution image of a group of killer T cells (green and red) surrounding a cancer cell (blue, center). (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)