JUN 23, 2017 7:55 AM PDT

Phototherapy Advances for Cancer


In terms of treating cancer, there are normally three options for most patients. Chemotherapy, with highly toxic drugs to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy, to attack solid tumors and slow metastasis and surgery to remove organs or tissues that are cancerous. All of these come with debilitating side effects and risk. Researchers in Korea are using a non-invasive treatment involving focused light therapy, or photodynamic therapy, to treat cancer and there are some benefits.

A drug, called a photo sensitizer is given to patients and that drug attracts certain light frequencies that can kill cancer cells. It's not perfect however. Side effects have included severe skin problems. To combat that, researchers in Korea are using photo sensitizers with folic acid. A sheet of nanoparticles with folic acid guides the drug to cancer cells to kill them, reducing the damage to other tissues. Early results look promising for this method of attacking cancer cells.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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