Chemists turn to gel to ease side-effects of cancer treatment

Nov 08, 2005

Three young scientists in the University of York’s Department of Chemistry have developed a gel that could spare cancer patients some of the unpleasant and dangerous side-effects of radiotherapy.
PhD students Andrew Wilson and Paul Watson, together with post-doctoral research fellow Mark Godber, have developed the gel which will help doctors to target cancer tumours more efficiently.

Now, the group has secured £30,000 under the Bioscience Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowship scheme to commercialise their idea.

Their product, a formulation of various chemicals, is a gelatine whose density is comparable with human tissue and can be tailored for different applications.

The density of the gel alters when subjected to radiation beams, so radiologists can use it to take the guesswork out of the intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatment of malignant cancers.

By testing the radiation beam on the gel first, radiologists can judge more accurately the precise dose needed to treat the tumour, enabling them to calibrate their machines accordingly.

Andrew Wilson said: "This technique should allow more rapid, accurate, and therefore safer treatment of malignant tumours."

A different formula of the gel can be used as a phantom in the detection of brain tumours. Working with researchers at the Centre for Magnetic Resonance Investigations, at Hull Royal Infirmary, the team has developed a technique which uses the gel to improve the accuracy of targeting tumour cells.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy can be used as an imaging technique allowing the tumour to be identified accurately, because of the differing biological activity in tumour cells compared with healthy cells. A phantom is required to prove the accuracy of these measurements.

The team has already supplied samples of the gels to the Princess Royal Hospital in Hull and hope to go into commercial production soon.

Source: University of York

Explore further: Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fingers pointed as climate talks deadlock

9 hours ago

Accusations flew at deadlocked UN climate talks in Lima on Saturday, as the United States warned that failure to compromise could doom the 22-year-old global forum.

Fun cryptography app pleases students and teachers

19 hours ago

Up on Google Play this week is Cryptoy...something that you might want to check out if you or someone you know wishes entry into the world of cryptography via an educational and fun app. You learn more about ciphers and keys; you ...

Recommended for you

Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

13 hours ago

When designing a new car, manufacturers might try to attract consumers with more horsepower, increased fuel efficiency or a lower price point. But new research from San Francisco State University shows consumers' loyalty ...

Short-necked Triassic marine reptile discovered in China

16 hours ago

A new species of short-necked marine reptile from the Triassic period has been discovered in China, according to a study published December 17, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xiao-hong Chen f ...

Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

16 hours ago

The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.