Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Light treatments may help multiple diseases

AARP magazine holds out new hope for photodynamic therapy treatments of skin cancer

New light-therapy treatments may be helpful for skin cancer patients.
Michael R. Hamblin

At least that's a conclusion drawn by writer Christina Ianzito in a recent issue of the AARP Bulletin.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT), a combination of light with special drugs called photo-sensitizing agents, is an effective treatment that "often eliminates the need for surgery," her magazine story indicates.

How does it work?

"The agent is applied to the cancerous region, or to a sun-damaged area that is precancerous, on the skin or through a vein," the story says. "Once the cells absorb the agent, light is applied, causing the drug to react with oxygen. This forms a chemical that kills the cells."
Dr. Jami Lyn Miller
The AARP article quotes Michael R. Hamblin, principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, as saying the chemical "will kill anything. It's like the strongest beam of X-rays that you can imagine."

Dr. Jami Lyn Miller, dermatologist at Vanderbilt Health in Nashville, also is quoted as believing that "because it finds cells that are rapidly dividing, PDT may catch cancer that surgery doesn't."

Light therapy, the article indicates, may be used as well to treat depression, Alzheimer's Disease and certain infections.

Details about research into life-threatening ailments can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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