Every year in Germany 200,000 people are diagnosed with either non-melanoma skin cancer or melanoma. Whilst non-melanoma skin cancer even as it progresses is usually highly treatable and may be completely cured, the darker form of skin cancer (melanoma) can produce more aggressive changes in the skin. The number of cases has rapidly increased in the past 20 years and continues to rise. All stages of the disease can be treated, however early detection is critical.
Advances in the treatment of skin cancer
As a practice we hold additional qualifications in “dermatological oncology” and “medicinal tumour therapy”. Dr. Ludolph-Hauser is a member of the Dermatological Oncology Working Group and is active in onkoderm. This nationwide network of active dermatological oncologists is committed to achieving the best quality of treatment. We cooperate with Landshut oncological and palliative medicine network. This enables us to treat our patients comprehensively and in a timely fashion.
Thanks to considerable advances within genetic research, today scientists understand the changes that cause a cell to become a cancer cell far better. The research findings have led to the development of new drugs that target changes that only take place in the cancer cells – whilst chemotherapy attacks both healthy and diseased tissue equally.
Until recently it was difficult to have any impact on an advanced melanoma. Now, however, even metastatic melanomas can be melted away and life expectancy thus considerably extended. With another treatment approach, a special stimulation of the body’s own immune system mobilises immune cells that are able to destroy tumour cells. In both cases significantly better results are being achieved than with previous treatment methods.
There has also been an advance in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer. Following in the footsteps of the United States, in the near future Europe will also be approving a new drug for use: a so-called hedgehog inhibitor stops the growth of oversized tumours in a targeted way so that it will subsequently be possible to operate.