Scientists today unveiled a pioneering new way of treating cancer that they hope will reduce the side effects of existing drugs.
The therapy is to be tested by leading figures in the treatment of cancer in a pounds 4 million initiative at the University of Dundee.
A new centre is being prepared at the university to house 60 scientists to conduct trials of new treatments combining gene therapy and keyhole surgery.
They hope to be able to deliver genetically-engineered products directly to tumours, thus reducing the chances of patients suffering effects that often accompany chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The Cancer Research Campaign Scotland is helping to coordinate a cash appeal to pay for the department, which is being hailed as a world first.
Genetics expert Prof David Lane, and the pioneer of keyhole surgery, Prof Sir Alfred Cuschieri, are combining to create the department.
Prof Cuschieri said: "One of the great problems with today's cancer treatments is the dreadful side effects suffered by patients due to the blunderbuss rather than the sniper approach to targeting diseased cells.
"The techniques of minimal access surgery and advanced imaging that we have developed in Dundee will permit application of new treatments directly to the tumour, thus potentially greatly reducing side effects. …