The Skin Cancer Foundation Response to Surface Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx)

This new non-surgical procedure to treat non-melanoma skin cancers holds promise, but we feel it’s too early to determine the procedure’s safety and efficacy. 

It may prove to be most useful for elderly patients in their 80s or 90s who are not candidates for surgery because of infirmity or being on blood thinners. 

There are two basic issues with eBx.  First, it requires multiple treatments – usually about 16 or more within a fairly short time span of a month or less.  That presents problems for older patients who may have transportation issues.  With Mohs surgery, one visit to the dermatologist is usually enough.  Second, radiation itself can induce changes in the skin that potentially lead to the development of “new” skin cancers.  

We are encouraged to see that more research on the procedure is being planned; large, multi-center studies with long-term follow up are needed to collect the data which will ultimately determine the safety and efficacy of Surface Electronic Brachytherapy. 

Deborah Sarnoff, MD
Senior Vice President,
The Skin Cancer Foundation
April 7, 2015