Curtin chips in for cancer re­search

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jaime Shurmer

A CURTIN Uni­ver­sity “nanotech guy” is part of a re­search project to mi­crochip chil­dren with cancer to en­sure drug treat­ments are both safe and ef­fec­tive.

Hani Al-Salami said the tech­nol­ogy was be­ing de­signed in Europe and Aus­tralia for peo­ple who re­quired toxic lev­els of drugs.

“For more chronic disease, you need con­tin­u­ous use of drugs, but how much is ac­tu­ally reach­ing where it needs to be?” Dr Al-Salami said.

He said drug tox­i­c­ity was the main source of side ef­fects and could be fa­tal.

The tech­nol­ogy could even­tu­ally be ap­plied to peo­ple with di­a­betes where the lev­els of drug in­take varies through­out the day.

Pa­tients in­volved in a con­tin­u­ous re­cruit­ment trial live in Europe and are un­der 16.

“Europe has more ac­cess to pa­tients be­cause there are more peo­ple and the fund­ing is based there,” Dr Hani AlSalami said.

The team in­cludes se­lect ex­perts from Ger­many, France and Ser­bia, who will travel be­tween Aus­tralia and Europe over four years to con­duct their re­search.

There are peo­ple from dif­fer­ent fields of sci­ence in­volved, plus rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try.

Dr Hani Al-Salami is lead­ing the Aus­tralian co­hort of the MEDLEM project. He de­scribed the tech­nol­ogy as “a nanochip with de­tec­tion ca­pa­bil­ity that sends mea­sure­ments through an in-house de­signed Wi-Fi sys­tem to an in-house de­vel­oped data­base”.

The mea­sure­ments would be real time and avoid con­tin­u­ous test­ing through blood sam­pling.

Curtin Uni­ver­sity is the only Aus­tralian in­sti­tu­tion se­lected to take part in the MEDLEM project, funded by the EU Hori­zon 2020 grant.

Dr Hani Al-Salami... drug tox­i­c­ity is the main source of side ef­fects.

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