New chemo-targeting could cut deaths and side effects say researchers

In collaboration with the Press Association

A new method of delivering chemotherapy drugs could avoid negative side effects such as sickness and hair loss, Bath University researchers have claimed.

The device, which is still in the earliest stages of development, uses an implant of tiny beads and fibres to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly into the site of a cancer.

"The idea of an implant that slowly releases chemotherapy drugs into the area of a tumour is very interesting," said Dr Emma Knight of Cancer Research UK.

"Gel wafers are already used in this way to treat some brain tumours. So far this approach has only been tested in the laboratory so further studies are essential to find out whether it could be a safe and effective treatment for cancer patients."

Chemotherapy is usually given intravenously, although a few drugs are taken orally

The new method, known as Fibrasorb, could also reduce the numbers of cancer patients who die from the side effects of chemotherapy, as directly targeted doses would be smaller.

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