Page last updated at 00:17 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010

Plaster treatment for skin cancer

Ambulight device
The device aims to make the treatment of skin cancer more comfortable.

A sticking plaster approach to treating skin cancer has been unveiled at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

The light-emitting Ambulight PDT device has been developed in an attempt to make the treatment of skin cancer faster and more comfortable.

Clinicians said the plaster avoided scarring and reduced the amount of time patients need to spend in hospital.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with its incidence doubling every eight to ten years.

The new treatment, which is being rolled out to hospitals across the UK, would see skin cancer patients given a drug which makes the affected skin sensitive to light.

The disposable light-emitting plaster is then stuck over the top, allowing photodynamic therapy treatment (PDT) to be applied directly to the skin, destroying the cancerous cells.

For non-melanoma, the most common treatment in the past has involved applying a cream to the skin for several hours before the patient undergoes intensive light treatment.

There was a nippy feeling but the pain threshold from nought to ten was only about a three and I have been told that the conventional method was about an eight
Muriel Lowe
Skin cancer patient

But with the new device, the patient can be in and out of hospital within minutes, enabling them to continue with their normal daily routine while undergoing PDT treatment.

Pilot clinical trials have also indicated this new treatment method causes lower pain than conventional techniques while still achieving an equivalent outcome.

James Ferguson, a professor of dermatology at Ninewells, explained: "This new device can be taken away home with the patients.

"It is escaping from the hospital environment, making for a gentler approach to skin cancer treatment."

Muriel Lowe, one of the 50 patients who have so far been treated in Dundee, said: "I came in not knowing anything about the treatment.

"The nurse and the doctor explained the process really well, the plaster device was put on and I went home.

"There was a nippy feeling but the pain threshold from nought to ten was only about a three and I have been told that the conventional method was about an eight."



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
STV.tv 'Sticking plaster' skin cancer treatment unveiled - 5 hrs ago
MTB Europe Ambicare launches light-emitting plaster for skin cancer treatment - 18 hrs ago
Daily Record Scottish hospital pioneers light-emitting 'sticking plaster' which can cure skin cancer - 21 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Scientists come up with an electronic sticking plaster to treat skin cancer - 21 hrs ago
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