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New technology set to improve skin cancer treatment

Researchers at Queen's University in Belfast have demonstrated that needle-free jet injection of an agent used in the treatment of skin cancer significantly increases the amount delivered into skin, compared to the conventional approach of topical application.

The jet injection system, based on a needle-free injector which produces a high velocity liquid jet with sufficient intensity to pierce the skin, could potentially improve the effectiveness of skin cancer treatment.

The research was completed by the University's School of Pharmacy PhD student Desmond Morrow. He said: "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."

Mr Morrow and his colleagues found that compared to application with a bioadhesive patch, the jet injector was shown to significantly increase the amount of drug that could be delivered through the skin. 

Morrow said: "This technology has the potential to increase the efficacy of photodynamic therapy in skin cancer treatment."