New Device Could Cut Hair Loss During Chemotherapy-8171

March 14th, 2011
New Device Could Cut Hair Loss During Chemotherapy-8171

Scientists at Edinburgh University are working on a new device which they believe could cut the number of people suffering from hair loss during chemotherapy. They also think it could reduce other side effects including sickness and a weakened immune system.

The device uses palladium particles to set off reactions within cells; the palladium is itself coated in order to prevent damage to the cell as it penetrates. Palladium is a very rare metal.

Using palladium in this way appears to enable the cancer treating drugs to do their work, but without causing the well known side effects such as alopecia.

The research which looks promising is in its early stage; it is also a collaborative project with scientists from Kebangsaan University in Malaysia.

The leader of the research programme, Professor Mark Bradley who works in the Department of Chemistry in Edinburgh told BBC reporters: “This technique potentially gives us the ability to deliver drugs to exactly where they are needed, for example in targeting cancerous tumours.”

In related news two young girls decided to cut their locks to donate their hair to the Wigs for Kids campaign in British Columbia, Canada.

Alexa and Olivia Mortimer decided to get involved to honour their grandfather who died from cancer. Their mother Suzanne Carter told local reporters: “I’m proud of them. They heard of other children donating their hair and they thought it was a great idea.

“It was something that would be easy for them to do and they knew it would help children who were going through a challenging situation.”

Natural hair wigs are unfortunately very expensive to make, and can cost between 1,000 and 3,000 Canadian Dollars. Consequently, a charity like Wigs for Kids helps enormously.

The chairwoman of Wigs for Kids, Bev Friesen said: “Having a wig that looks like the real thing is necessary for children with hair loss to begin to feel like themselves again. With a wig, kids can feel good about returning to school and resuming normal activities. Their baldness is one question they don’t have to answer.”

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