A new phototherapy technique – a healing technique based on the use of light -, according to the results published in the journal Nano, promises to significantly increase efficiency, also reducing pain, of chemotherapy.
A research group from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), led by the Theragnosis Research Center, developed a new phototherapy device aimed at cancer able to eliminate cancer cells with almost no side effects.
How does this new technique work? A photosensitizer is injected which is concentrated around cancer cells. The latter are selectively destroyed when, subsequently, a laser is fired into the body. In this way, cancer cells are eliminated with almost no side effects.
Without a doubt, in fact, the side effects are lower than with radio therapy or chemotherapy, known to destroy even the surrounding healthy tissues. The only problem is that the injected photosensitizer can accumulate in the skin or eyes, creating side effects related to light. So treatment recipients should probably isolate themselves from light, both natural and artificial.
However, in the new research, the experts were also able to optimize this by sending precise signals to the photosensitizer. The latter, in fact, was localized only around malignant cells. “The developed phototherapeutic agent is expected to be useful in future phototherapy as it allows for long-term repeated phototherapy without toxicity after a single injection around the cancer until complete removal, and has a simple single component formulation“said Sehoon Kim of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.