11 November 2010 -- Scientists at The University of Queensland are taking the lead in the development of technology that may reduce chronic pain for cancer sufferers.
UQ will develop new technology that delivers analgesic medicines into the spinal fluid of patients with bone and other types of cancer in the hope of providing prolonged pain relief. Lead researchers UQ’s Professor Maree Smith and Professor Andrew Whittaker, said the preclinical study of a novel polymeric drug delivery system is aimed at blocking the transmission of pain messages to the patient’s brain.
“The management of severe chronic pain is a great challenge to patients and clinicians,” Professor Smith said.
“Severe chronic pain may occur in patients with advanced cancer, particularly bone pain due to cancer metastasis to the skeleton or chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Moreover, severe pain may not subside after existing analgesic treatments that are delivered orally or by injection, thus warranting the need for new delivery technology.
Professor Whittaker said the technology that UQ researchers are developing is built on 15 years of research by his team in the field of controlled drug delivery using bio-erodable polymer technology. “The processes being utilised to manufacture the drug delivery systems is aimed at providing greater control of the rate of release of the medicines into the spinal cord, with significantly reduced risks of contamination from processing agents than in competing technology,” Professor Whittaker said. UQ scientists are undertaking this ground-breaking three-year research in partnership with US biopharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company after receiving a Linkage grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC).
Professor Maree Smith
Professor Andrew Whittaker
Engagement officer Belinda Berry
(61-7-336-8598 or email@example.com)