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Dahlia Salman, PhD researcher, Life Science

With the advance of medical technologies, patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment now have the option - dependent on the type of condition and treatment required - of receiving their medication at home, through the use of ambulatory (portable elastomeric) pumps.

These are used to administer a combination of drugs through a line attached to a fixed catheter in the body and Dahlia Salman, a final-year PhD student, is researching the monitoring of medication via ambulatory chemotherapy.

Dahlia has been focusing on investigating the physicochemical and microbiological stability of anticancer drugs by using sophisticated analytical techniques to monitor the stability of the medication and review the accuracy of the pumps delivering the medication.

Dahlia (centre front) and the rest of the Cancer and Therapeutic Systems Research Group

The research also assesses workplace contamination by cytotoxic drugs and evaluates ambulatory chemotherapy services and patient perception using the 'Bench to Bedside' approach.

Dahlia explains, "For ambulatory chemotherapy to be feasible, several factors need to be considered to ensure patient safety and treatment outcome. Our research group interests were inspired by contemporary practice-based challenges, which once solved could improve patient care and quality of life and has potential cost-saving measures for the NHS."

This work is being carried out in collaboration with several NHS trusts, the Royal Marsden Hospital and industry. It has also been presented at several national and international conferences and won several prizes.