Portable microwave tech used in treating skin lesions

November 9, 2018 by Roddy Isles, University of Dundee
Human skin structure. Credit: Wikipedia

A new method of using a Scottish company's portable microwave technology to treat sun-damaged skin conditions is being tested by researchers at the University of Dundee.

It is estimated that one in three people over 60 years old in the UK has at least one actinic keratosis (AK) lesion—the first appearance of a potential non-melanoma skin cancer. There is a small associated risk that the lesions could progress into a more dangerous form of skin cancer called . Patients who have are also more at risk of all types of compared to someone of the same age without actinic keratoses.

With a deficit of more than 200 dermatologists in the UK, the ability to diagnose and treat is being diminished. Up to 25 percent of GP workload is skin based and with an ageing population the crisis in dermatology needs treatments that are effective, decentralised and time efficient. Existing treatments fail to balance effectiveness, side effects and cost.

Scottish company Emblation is at the forefront of new in the dermatology market with a highly effective for plantar warts. The device has been used in more than 15,000 wart treatments UK wide to date and works by coagulating soft tissue, and inducing a local immune response.

Charlotte Proby, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Dundee, is leading the research study to examine the effectiveness of the treatment against AK.

Professor Proby said, "This technology appears to have significant potential to offer efficient treatment of , a common condition which affects many among our older population.

"Removing these lesions can offer protection against more serious 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 high risk and cost without this project."

The technology will be tested for use on AK in conjunction with the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit (TCTU) who will run the trial at the Division of Cancer Research at the University of Dundee. The study is being funded by 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 localised 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."

Explore further: New drug now available for actinic keratosis

Related Stories

New drug now available for actinic keratosis

March 14, 2012
A new topical gel now available by prescription significantly decreases the amount of time needed to treat actinic keratosis, a skin condition that is a common precursor to skin cancer, according to a multi-center trial led ...

Topical treatment activates immune system to clear precancerous skin lesions

December 19, 2016
A combination of two FDA-approved drugs - a topical chemotherapy and an immune-system-activating compound - was able to rapidly clear actinic keratosis lesions from patients participating in a clinical trial. Standard treatment ...

New topical immunotherapy effective against early skin cancer

November 21, 2016
A combination of two topical drugs that have been in use for years triggers a robust immune response against precancerous skin lesions, according to a new study. The research, from Washington University School of Medicine ...

Study links widely-used drug azathioprine to skin cancers

September 10, 2018
A drug used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and vasculitis as well as to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients has been identified as an important contributor to skin cancer development, in a research ...

In clinical trial, cream reduces squamous cell carcinoma risk

January 3, 2018
New results from a clinical trial involving more than 900 military veterans at high risk for keratinocyte carcinoma skin cancer provides evidence that using the generic skin cream fluorouacil 5 percent for two to four weeks ...

Recommended for you

RNAi therapy mitigates preeclampsia symptoms

November 19, 2018
A collaboration of scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Western Sydney University, have shown that an innovative new type of therapy using small interfering ...

Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom

November 19, 2018
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered how our bones grow at an atomic level, showing how an unstructured mass orders itself into a perfectly arranged bone structure. The discovery offers ...

Signal peptides' novel role in glutamate receptor trafficking and neural synaptic activity

November 19, 2018
Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, and the postsynaptic expression level of glutamate receptors is a critical factor in determining the efficiency of information transmission and the activity ...

A molecule for fighting muscular paralysis

November 19, 2018
Myotubular myopathy is a severe genetic disease that leads to muscle paralysis from birth and results in death before two years of age. Although no treatment currently exists, researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), ...

New insights into how an ordinary stem cell becomes a powerful immune agent

November 19, 2018
How do individual developing cells choose and commit to their "identity"—to become, for example, an immune cell, or a muscle cell, or a neuron?

New drug discovery could halt spread of brain cancer

November 19, 2018
The tissues in our bodies largely are made of fluid. It moves around cells and is essential to normal body function.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.