New machine designed to treat some skin cancers

NEW YORK (CNN) – Dave Spigler is the ultimate football fan. For 22 years, he was a member of the famous Hogettes, a group of men who dressed up as “Pigs in Wigs” to cheer on the offensive line of the Washington Redskins, known as the Hogs. Not only was Spigler busy, he was always in the sun.

“Yeah, I got sunburned. But who knew? I didn’t know what was happening,” said Spigler.

However, too much sun took its toll. Spigler was eventually diagnosed with Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas: forms of skin cancer, when left untreated, can spread to other organs or cause severe scarring. His dermatologist tried creams, chemotherapy, even surgery, but had to be careful, because Spigler was a diabetic.

“A couple of his lesions were so large, the only way we could repair those lesions was with skin grafts,” said Dr. George Verghese.

That’s when they decided to try a new treatment called SRT100. The machine uses small doses of targeted radiation. Over a period of treatments, cancer cells are destroyed without hurting the healthy tissue around it. That cuts out surgery and cuts down on scarring. It doesn’t deliver any deep radiation, so it safely targets just the skin cancer.

According to study data 94% of skin cancers are cured after the treatment.

Spigler jokes he is thrilled with the results, “I lost a little more hair than I intended, but no, I am very happy.”

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