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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Cancer drug may end side effects
Nurse (generic)
The device begins medical trials within a few years
A new device for cancer patients could end the side effects of chemotherapy such as hair loss and vomiting, researchers say.

The revolutionary new method uses an implant made of tiny fibres and beads soaked in chemotherapy drugs.

The device, which was developed at Bath University, dissolves internally, releasing the chemotherapy chemicals directly into the cancer site.

It is set to begin clinical trials in the next few years.

The usual way of delivering chemotherapy to patients is by injecting the drugs into a vein, meaning they are carried throughout the body, affecting all body parts.

Reduce deaths

The Bath University team claims the new method - known as Fibrasorb - could also cut the number of patients who die from the harmful side effects of chemotherapy because they need such high doses.

Dr Semali Perera said: "Side effects from chemotherapy can be very unpleasant and sometimes fatal.

"The new fibres and beads could cut out some side-effects entirely, including nausea and vomiting, and could reduce the number of people who die each year."

The new technology was welcomed by Breakthrough Breast Cancer on Friday.

Dr Sarah Rawlings, of the charity, said: "This new research is at an extremely early stage but Breakthrough welcomes any research into new treatments which may be less debilitating than those currently available."

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