What is Curaderm BEC / Zycure?
Curaderm BEC5, also known as Zycure in the U.K., is a novel treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer that is not available in the United States. In addition to skin cancer treatment, it has been used as an anti-aging cream.
The active ingredient in Curaderm is solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides, a compound derived from plants in the Solaceae family, which contains eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, and Bell peppers. A 2008 study in the UK demonstrated interesting results with 66- 78% of patients in its clinical trial seeing remission of skin cancers after eight weeks of treatment.
“A diagnosis of skin cancer frequently leads to a lot of anxiety and worry among patients and their families,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, board certified dermatologist and skin cancer expert in Austin, Texas. Dr. Mamelak says this is often understandable. Skin cancer can mean surgery, radiation, even chemotherapy in some circumstances. But not all skin cancers require such aggressive treatment. “Many superficial skin cancers can be treated with topical creams, like imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil.” These agents are actually associated with higher cure rates than Curaderm. “The appeal of Curaderm appears to be that it is derived from natural products. Vegetables, really.”
What conditions is it supposed to treat?
Curaderm BEC5 has been used against non-melanoma skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma, keratoachanthoma, and basal cell carcinoma, as well as against benign tumors like age spots, sun spots, and keratoses. Since the cream is non-toxic, some have advocated its use as a preventative measure.
Why do most dermatologists in the U.S. not recommend patients use this therapy?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Curaderm BEC5 for use in the United States. Because of this, most physicians will not recommend the use of Curaderm BEC5 for the treatment of malignant skin tumors. As well, with minimally invasive treatments like Mohs surgery that have >99% cure rates available, many physicians view Curaderm as a less reliable cancer therapy.
Dr. Adam Mamelak treats skin cancer patients at Sanova Dermatology and the Austin Mohs Surgery Center. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and are looking for treatment options, please contact us today.