New way to administer cancer-fighting meds

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 203,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.  That number includes 109,000 men and 94,000 women.  While new technology is helping doctors diagnose cancer faster, the treatments for many cancers are rough on the body and far from a cure.  However, researchers believe administering treatments differently may help patients with the troubling side effects.

The new approach
Scientists a the University of Strathcylde in Glasgow have created a way to give cancer patients their medications through an inhaler.  The medication can be administered through a nebulizer, much like the instrument used to treat severe asthma.  Researchers believe this approach trumps the current intravenous approach because the medication is delivered faster, easier, and can be doled out in smaller doses, which could alleviate some of the side effects.

“By delivering cisplatin, one of the most widely used drugs for lung cancer, in a vaporized form, we would be able to get it to the cancerous cells and avoid the damage to healthy cells which can be hugely debilitating to patients. It would make the treatment far less onerous for them and we hope it would help them to live longer,” Dr. Chris Carter, a Senior Lecturer the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences said.

This is just one many recent discoveries in the fight against cancer.

Increasing awareness
Aside from pushing forward a new approach in cancer treatment, the University also sees this study as a way to promote awareness about the disease.  “Increasing awareness of cancer risks and improvements in treatment do not alter the fact that it remains one of the biggest killers,” Carter said.  “This means that new, improved treatments are still essential and more people should learn what they can about the disease.”

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