Canadian Cancer Society logo

Non-melanoma skin cancer

You are here: 

Biological therapy for non-melanoma skin cancer

Biological therapy is sometimes used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer. It is also called biotherapy or biological response modifiers (BRMs).

Biological therapy uses natural or manufactured substances to kill, control or change the behaviour of cancer cells. Different types of biological therapies work in different ways.

Biological therapy may be used to treat:

  • precancerous conditions (actinic keratosis, Bowen’s disease)
  • small, superficial basal cell carcinomas

Drugs, doses and schedules vary from person to person.

Biological therapy drugs

The most common biological therapy drug used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer is imiquimod (Aldara or Zyclara). Imiquimod is a cream that is applied to the skin several times a week.

For more detailed information on specific drugs, go to sources of drug information.

See a list of questions to ask your doctor about biological therapy.

Stories

Kathleen Murphy She knew that indoor tanning could pose serious health risks and this motivated her to push for a tan-free prom at her school.

Read Kathleen's story

How can you stop cancer before it starts?

It's My Life! icon

Discover how your lifestyle choices can affect cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life!

Learn more