The reason that internal tumours are not treated with the method is that the technology does not exist to check that the precise amount of light is administered. However, software developed by researchers in atomic physics at Lund University in Sweden looks like being able to solve the problem.
“I think we are about to see a real breakthrough, both for us and for other research groups around the world who conduct research on cancer treatment using laser light”, says Johannes Swartling, Doctor of Atomic Physics at Lund University and Chief Technical Officer at SpectraCure, the company that is now developing the software.
The software’s unique feature is that it uses the optical fibres for more than simply emitting light. Intermittently they also gather information about the tumour, which they send back to the laser instrument.
“In this way, the software can continually calculate the optimal light dose and adjust it if necessary. The entire tumour must be removed, while damage to adjacent organs must be avoided”, says Johannes Swartling.
According to the researchers, the software could also be used with other light therapies that use LEDs or infra-red lasers.
Tests on prostate cancer patients in Sweden have shown that the method also works for internal tumours, and in the spring a clinical study on recurrent prostate cancer will begin in the US and Canada. An application for approval to carry out the study is pending. Meanwhile, the same laser light technology is being tested in the UK on pancreatic cancer.
“The advantage of laser light is that it appears that side effects can be minimised. With current treatment methods, prostate cancer patients who are cured risk both impotence and incontinence.”
In addition, traditional treatments entail a risk of cancer recurrence, says Johannes Swartling.
The international tests focus on adjusting dosage, guaranteeing safety and ensuring the effectiveness of treatment. If everything goes smoothly, SpectraCure hopes the method will be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada within a few years.
“This really could be revolutionary”, says Sune Svanberg, Professor of Laser Physics at Lund University and one of the researchers behind the technology.
“The new technology has great potential to help certain patient groups, for whom current treatment methods have major limitations”, says Professor Dr Katarina Svanberg, Department of Oncology, Lund University, who has been involved in the medical side of the development of the method.How photodynamic therapy works
The hardware and software are based on patents developed by atomic physicists in Lund, led by Sune Svanberg and Stefan Andersson-Engels. The idea was to allow the same optical fibres used for treatment to be used for diagnostic measurements that make it possible to calculate the light dose required. The method was soon seen to be practicable and has been developed over the years, now by SpectraCure. The implementation has been carried out by programmers.
For more information, please contact: Stefan Andersson-Engels, Professor of Atomic Physics, +46 46 222 3121, Stefan.Andersson-Engels@fysik.lth.se , Johannes Swartling, +46 708 233680, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jens Nilsen, CEO SpectraCure, +46 706 878712, email@example.com.
High resolution photographs of Stefan Andersson-Engels, Johannes Swartling and Sune Svanberg can be found in the Lund University image bank; enter the name required in the search field. Company photographs from Spectracure are also available; enter “Spectracure” in the search field.
Helga Ekdahl Heun | idw
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy