Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Let there be light

27.05.2008
Photodynamic therapy breakthrough in cancer treatment

Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Cornwall, UK, have modified a photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment that combines a topically applied cream with visible light to destroy cancer cells while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.

The cream is applied directly to skin cancers and pre-cancers, which then naturally produces a photosensitive drug. A special red light is then shone on the tumour a few hours later, to activate this light sensitive compound. This results in cellular damage and the destruction of the tumour.

This technique results in reduced scarring and little or no damage to the surrounding healthy cells.

By adding the iron chelator CP94 to the cream, the research team have found that the effects of PDT are greatly improved and achieve greater reductions in tumour depth in tumours currently too thick to be treated easily by the non-enhanced form of this treatment.

This is the first time in the world that PDT trials of this modified PDT treatment have been carried out involving humans. Trials involving patients have taken place at clinics at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in Truro.

PDT is achieving success in the treatment of actinic keratoses (lesions that can develop after years of exposure to UV light); Bowen’s disease (the growth of abnormal calls that can turn into skin cancer, and that is partly due to long-term exposure to the sun); and basal cell carcinoma (the most common form of skin cancer).

The work of the Peninsula Medical School in this area of research is funded in part by the Duchy Health Charity in Cornwall.

Dr. Alison Curnow from the Peninsula Medical School in Cornwall, commented: “PDT is very effective non-surgical treatment for certain types of dermatological cancers and precancers. It normally destroys the tumour without scarring or damage to surrounding healthy cells.”

She added: “Through years of research we have been able to develop a modified PDT treatment enabling for the first time for thicker nodular basal cell carcinomas to be treated effectively with a single PDT treatment. This is important, as this is a very common form of skin cancer.”

The work of Dr. Curnow and her team are part of a developing research theme for the Peninsula Medical School, which is Environment and Human Health. Operated mainly from the Peninsula Medical School in Cornwall, but with collaboration from colleagues within the institution across the South West of England, this research theme seeks to identify and study the links between our health and well-being and the environment.

More information is available by logging on at www.pms.ac.uk.

Care Study

Graham O’Neill, 54, is technical marketing director at Imerys Minerals in Cornwall and lives near Mevagissey.

Graham was raised in the West Indies, and although his mother was very careful about protecting him from the sun, his exposure to the sun’s rays at an early age led to the discovery of melanomas on his skin in 1983.

“Back then the treatments were quite severe,” said Graham. “It involved liquid nitrogen, scraping out the melanoma and cauterizing it. Not only was this very painful, but it also left scarring.”

He now receives treatment with PDT, which is much better for him. He said: “The treatment is extremely good. From a personal point of view it is much less unpleasant and seems to be more effective. It also treats quite a big area in one go, which means fewer treatments in the long run. The other issue with melanomas is that they keep coming back. With PDT I have found that they do not return as frequently and, when they do, they are far less severe.”

On balance Graham is delighted with the treatments, which he has been receiving at Treliske Hospital, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in Truro. He said: “Compared with the old way of doing things, PDT is a fantastic therapy and one which I would recommend to other patients. It is very exciting that the Peninsula Medical School is taking such a worldwide lead in research in this area.”

Andrew Gould | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pms.ac.uk/pms/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New way to target advanced breast cancers
24.09.2018 | Jackson Laboratory

nachricht Neutrons produce first direct 3D maps of water during cell membrane fusion
21.09.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light

24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA balloon mission captures electric blue clouds

24.09.2018 | Earth Sciences

New way to target advanced breast cancers

24.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>