Pharmacy student Desmond Morrow at the Queen’s University Belfast, together with Drs Paul McCarron and Ryan Donnelly, developed a novel device to assist in delivery of drugs for skin photodynamic therapy (PDT). The details are sketchy, but here’s what we know:
The breakthrough at Queen’s could benefit the growing numbers of skin cancer patients being treated with a technique called photodynamic therapy (PDT). This is where a light sensitive drug in the form of a cream is rubbed on the area affected by the cancer and a laser activates a component in the cream to destroy cancerous cells.
Desmond Morrow pointed out the importance of his findings saying: “Photodynamic therapy is a relatively new form of skin cancer treatment which results in tumour death, however, sometimes its success in individual patients is limited by the poor penetration of the active agent into the tumour. Our research shows that a new way of administering the drug can improve the amount that crosses the skin barrier and gets to the required site.”
Looking at the immediate benefit with this new form of treatment both Dr McCarron and Dr Donnelly commented: “In Northern Ireland, basal cell carcinoma (BBC) is a prevalent form of skin cancer. Conventional treatments for BCC include surgical excision and radiotherapy, which demonstrate acceptable clearance rates. However, both techniques are unsuitable for large or multiple lesions and can lead to poor cosmetic outcomes, such as scarring, especially on visible regions, like the face and upper torso.”
Press release: Queen’s injects new hope for skin cancer patients …
(hat tip: TFOT)