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New device targets cancer tumours

7 December 2010

Early stage colon, stomach and throat cancers could be treated directly using a new medical device that applies a brief electric pulse to the tumour.

HRB-funded researcher, Dr Declan Soden, from the Cork Cancer Research
Centre in UCC, developed the Endoscopic Electroporation Device (EndoVe) and explains that it has tremendous potential to tackle tumours, reduce side-effects and improve patient quality of life.

?We designed the EndoVe to focus on gastrointestinal cancers, particularly colorectal, where all procedures would be conducted in a simple outpatient (day case) colonoscopy type procedure,? he says.

?When using the device, chemotherapy drugs are absorbed only in the area treated
by the electrical field. This means lower drug concentrations and potentially shorter stays in hospital, reducing costs significantly for the healthcare provider,? adds Dr Soden.

?It uses 90 per cent less of the chemotherapy drug, which means ease of treatment and minimal side effects for the patient.?

So far, testing and trials of the medical device have progressed well, notes Dr Soden.

?All our pre-clinical testing was highly successful, which meant we could get
permission to conduct a trial to treat patients with rectal cancer using the EndoVe device,? he says.

?It?s still very early into the trial, but the results so far are extremely encouraging.
They show that EndoVe is both safe and has the desired effect; but of equal importance the patient benefits in terms of minimum toxicity or side-effects.?

Impacts

  • New medical device
  • Clinical trials underway
  • Reduces treatment side effects for patients

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