The researchers at the University of Dundee are looking forward to a new technique of treating sun damaged skin conditions by using a Scottish company’s portable microwave technology. It has been estimated that around one out of three elderly people in the UK has developed at least one actinic keratosis. This is one of the first symptoms of a potential non-melanoma skin cancer.
Actinic keratosis is also described as solar keratosis. This term is defined by a scaly and crusty growth of skin due to high and frequent exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It is positioned at the second cause of skin cancer deaths in the United States. It is only curable if diagnosed at an early stage.
It has also been found that these lesions are highly linked with a more dangerous form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. People who are subjected to actinic keratosis are more prone to all types of skin cancers than the ones without actinic keratosis of the same age.
Due to less number of doctors in the UK, the goal to diagnose and treat the condition is being diminished. Approximately 25% of GP is known for skin based and with an increase in the number of elderly people, the dermatology sector needs advancement with reference to technology and produce time efficient, yet effective and decentralized treatments.
The existing and previous treatments have failed to fulfill the target of effectiveness, side effects, and cost.
Plantar warts highly effective treatment of new technologies in the dermatology market by a Scottish company known as Emblation. This device has been currently used in treating 15,000 warts all around the UK. This works by the coagulation of soft tissues and developing a local immune response.
Charlotte Proby is a Professor of Dermatology at the University of Dundee and is also leading the research to determine the efficiency of this treatment against actinic keratosis.
Professor Proby said, “This technology appears to have significant potential to offer effective treatment of actinic keratosis, a common condition which affects many among our older population.
“Removing these lesions can offer protection against more serious skin diseases including some forms of cancer, and an effective treatment that can be delivered quickly and at low cost would be a significant development.
“The results and experimental data will provide a starting point for a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) after the project. An RCT is a high risk and cost without this project.”
The clinical trial of this technology will be used on AK simultaneously with the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit (TCTU) who will carry out their clinical trial at the Divison of Cancer Research at the University of Dundee. This research study is currently being funded by the Innovate UK.
Dr. Matt Kidd, R&D Director at Emblation, said, “The enrolment of the first patients in this seminal study for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis is a significant milestone for Emblation’s platform technology.
“We have been working closely with our partners from the University of Dundee for a number of months now and we’re confident we will have clinical and in-vitro data from our microwave-based platform technology to offer a disruptive, efficient treatment for AK and other lesions that would benefit from a localized immune response therapy.
“The funding from Innovate UK has been key in allowing this project to happen and helps the collaboration between Industry, Academia and the NHS –essential ingredients to medical device innovation.”