Odomzo (Sonidegib) Approved For Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma
With skin cancer rates continuing to soar, new innovative treatments are needed to treat the different presentations of this disease. Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer that affects humans. With up to 20% of Americans now developing melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, a demand for newer, more accessible and acceptable forms of treatment is now a necessity to combat this tumor epidemic. This past week, a new oral treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma cancer was approved by the Federal Drug Administration, offering another option particularly designed for those patients who are not able to undergo a surgical management.
What Is Odomzo?
“Odozmo is a pill used for the treatment of locally advanced basal cell carcinoma,” explains Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board-certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Surgeon in Austin, Texas. These well-tolerated once-a-day 200mg capsules work by blocking the hedgehog pathway, a signaling pathway found in skin cells that is directly connected with the formation of basal cell carcinoma skin cancers.
“About 90% of basal cell’s possess mutations in the Sonic hedgehog pathway,” explains Dr. Mamelak. “These mutations turn on this cellular signal. Unabated and always on, this signal leads to the growth and development of the basal cell tumors.” Odomzo blocks the hedgehog pathway, in essence turning the signal off, and hence interfering with the growth of these skin cancers.
Who Is A Candidate Odomzo?
Odomzo is an alternative for those patients who are unable to have surgery, or who are not candidates for radiation. “Patients with widespread Basal Cell Carcinoma could benefit from this treatment. Surgical treatment in these individuals could result in significant morbidity, not to mention suboptimal functional and cosmetic results.” Dr. Mamelak shares.
Patients with recurrent tumors or those that develop tumors in areas previously treated with radiation might also consider Odomzo. Finally, although rare, patients with metastatic basal cell carcinoma might also benefit from this therapy.
Although Mohs Micrographic Surgery is one of the least invasive forms of skin cancer treatment, the introduction of a non-invasive therapy is always welcome, especially for those with aggressive disease, poor health or other unique clinical scenarios.