Tuesday, 13 September 2011

electric jab to combat cancer

Scientists have developed a hand-held device which delivers a 'turbo-charged' vaccine into muscles to treat malignant melanoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer that kills thousands every year.

Developed by researchers in the UK, the device contains a syringe needle and four electrodes. It's held against the patient's upper arm or leg, while the needle contains the vaccine itself, a brief electrical pulse from electrodes creates an opening which allows the DNA to enter cells.

The researchers said the use of electricity can boost the treatment's potency by 100-fold, the Daily Mail reported.

The device is currently being tested on 22 patients with malignant melanoma at four British hospitals. But researchers hope it could also help with a number of other cancers such as lung, throat, liver, stomach, prostate, ovarian and bladder.

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