Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Laser Therapy Offers Alternative to Surgery for Liver Tumours

11.09.2003


Research News in the British Journal of Surgery



11 September 2003: Laser light can be delivered in a controlled and predictable manner to destroy tumours. By inserting fibre optic cables through needles, doctors can direct the powerful laser light onto liver tumours – killing the cells and thus eliminating the need for major surgery. A review of recent research shows that this ‘interstitial laser thermotherapy’ (ITL) can be a safe and effective way of removing tumours and improving overall survival.

Cancer in the liver is extremely serious; left untreated, it can kill a person within three to twelve months of diagnosis. The best way of treating this disease is to remove the tumour by conventional surgery, but this is a major operation and is only possible in a limited number of cases.


“ITL allows a greater proportion of patients to be treated than surgery alone, but we need greater understanding of how it works if we are going to make best use of the technology,” says lead-author, M Nikfarjam, who works in the department of Surgery, at the University of Melbourne in Australia. “Advances in laser technology and refinements in techniques may allow ILT to replace surgery as the procedure of choice in selected patients with liver malignancies.”

Technical background

Lasers kill tumours because the energy contained in light particles (photons) is transformed into heat inside the cells. Heating cells to 42-45 oC for 30-60 minutes disrupts vital parts of the cells machinery (enzymes), killing the cells. Increasing the temperature decreases the amount of time needed. With temperatures of between 60oC and 140oC, cell death is almost instantaneous. Between 100 and 300 oC water in the cell vaporises, and above 300 oC the cells are burnt to carbon.

The key to success is to raise the temperature high enough to kill cells quickly, but to avoid carbonisation of the cells. If carbonisation occurs at the tip of the fibre, light is unable to penetrate the tissue. Doctors use either ultrasound scanning or magnetic resonance imaging to visualise the tumour and the fibres while they are giving the treatment.

Current research is focused on determining the optimum equipment and protocol to maximise the killing power of the laser.

Jaida Butler | alfa
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>