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USM polymer team researching new cancer drug delivery process

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Dr. Daniel Savin (right) and graduate student Ashley Johnson demonstrate the type of research they're conducting on a new cancer drug delivery process. Dr. Daniel Savin (right) and graduate student Ashley Johnson demonstrate the type of research they're conducting on a new cancer drug delivery process.
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Researchers in Polymer Science at Southern Miss are trying to create a drug delivery process which would target cancerous tumors while leaving surrounding areas of the body unaffected.

The studies could lead to drug therapies which minimize the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

The research, which is in its early stages, is being done by Dr. Daniel Savin and several graduate students.

"We're in the stages right now where we've developed a potential delivery vehicle and what we're trying to do with the vehicle is we're trying to encapsulate the drug under conditions similar to what is in the bloodstream," said Savin, who's an associate professor of polymer science and engineering at USM. "And then what happens is the vehicle can travel through the bloodstream and it will preferentially go into a cancer tumor," he said. 

"Baby steps are made and when you see the finished product or you get to a part where you have made leaps and bounds and that you can make someone's life a lot better one day, it's so worth it," said Ashley Johnson, a graduate student who's working on the project.   

The research is being funded by the National Science Foundation.

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