Light Therapy Can Help Zap Tumors

Photodynamic therapy and radiation combination kills cancer cells

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FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A combination of light-activated therapy and radiation provide effective therapy to treat tumors.

A Dartmouth College study in the March 1 issue of Cancer Research found that administering photodynamic therapy (PDT) immediately before radiation treatment appears to kill tumors in mice more effectively than just the two treatments used individually.

PDT is used to treat a variety of health problems, ranging from lung cancer to age-related blindness. PDT uses a light-activated drug to kill tumor tissue.

This study used the light-activated drug called verteporfin. It's designed to accumulate within tissues with tumor-like characteristics, such as rapidly growing cells and leaky vasculature.

This study's finding could result in a new direction and application for PDT.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about photodynamic therapy.

SOURCE: Dartmouth College, news release, Feb. 28, 2003

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