Topical treatment of basal cell carcinomas in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome with a smoothened inhibitor
The Journal of Investigative Dermatology , Volume 131 - Issue 8 p. 1735- 1744
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a distinctive manifestation in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) patients. Both inherited and acquired mutations of patched 1 (PTCH1), a tumor-suppressor gene controlling the activity of Smoothened (SMO), are the primary cause of the constitutive activation of the Hedgehog (HH) pathway, leading to the emergence of BCCs in NBCCS. LDE225, a distinct, selective antagonist of SMO, showed potent inhibition of basaloid tumor nest formation and mediated regression of preformed basaloid tumors in organ cultures of skin derived from Ptch1 heterozygous knockout mice. In a double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled, intraindividual study, a total of 8 NBCCS patients presenting 27 BCCs were treated twice daily with 0.75% LDE225 cream or vehicle for 4 weeks. Application of 0.75% LDE225 cream was well tolerated and showed no skin irritation. Of 13 LDE225-treated BCCs, 3 showed a complete, 9 a partial, and only 1 no clinical response. Except for one partial response, the vehicle produced no clinical response in any of the 14 treated BCCs. Treatment with 0.75% LDE225 cream in NBCCS patients was very well tolerated and caused BCC regression, thus potentially offering an attractive therapeutic alternative to currently available therapies for this indication.