Now, 'photodynamic therapy' to kill deep-set cancer cells in vivo

A new research has revealed about an FDA-approved photodynamic therapy that on being combined with a new type of nanoparticle effectively kill deep-set cancer cells in vivo with minimal damage to surrounding tissue and fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

ANI| Last Updated: Oct 16, 2014, 14:23 PM IST

Washington: A new research has revealed about an FDA-approved photodynamic therapy that on being combined with a new type of nanoparticle effectively kill deep-set cancer cells in vivo with minimal damage to surrounding tissue and fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

Lead author Gang Han from the University of Massachusetts Medical School said that they are very excited at the potential for clinical practice using their enhanced red-emission nanoparticles combined with FDA-approved photodynamic drug therapy to kill malignant cells in deeper tumors.

In photodynamic therapy, also known as PDT, the patient is given a non-toxic light-sensitive drug, which is absorbed by all the body's cells, including the cancerous ones.

Red laser lights specifically tuned to the drug molecules are then selectively turned on the tumor area and when the red light interacts with the photosensitive drug, it produces a highly reactive form of oxygen (singlet oxygen) that kills the malignant cancer cells while leaving most neighboring cells unharmed.

Researcher Yong Zhang said that this therapy has great promise as a noninvasive killer for malignant tumors that are beyond 1 cm in depth, for example breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer, without the side-effects of chemotherapy.

Han added that this approach is an exciting new development for cancer treatment that is both effective and nontoxic way and it also opens up new opportunities for using the augmented red-emission nanoparticles in other photonic and biophotonic applications.

The study is published online by the journal ACS Nano of the American Chemical Society.