New Prostate breakthrough treatment involves bacteria and lasers

New Prostate breakthrough treatment involves bacteria and lasers

Scientists at University College London led by Professor Mark Emberton have been using bacteria, from the bottom of the oceans as agents (‘drugs’, according to the researchers) to selectively lock into the malignant cells in prostate tumours. The agent is then activated by lasers to produce singlet oxygen and the cancer cells are destroyed. Described as a ’breakthrough’ new treatment, and heavily covered in many newspapers, in reality it is an update of a one hundred year old cancer treatment called Photodynamic Therapy.

Photodynamic Therapy is nothing new to followers of CANCERactive - we have several articles on it - but recent developments in active ’agents’ and energy delivery (by light, lasers or even ultrasound)  has made PDT surge in potential.

Go to: A short overview on Photodynamic Therapy 

The results across two years of study involving 400 men showed that the cancer had progressed in just 28 per cent of men having treatment but 58 per cent of men on Active Surveillance.  Emberton believes that even those results could be improved upon as technology has already taken a step change since he did the research.

Recently, CANCERacive covered the fourth major study in as many years showing that orthodox treatment in men over 50 with prostate cancer was a waste of time, as it made not a jot of difference to overall survival times. Indeed, it was far more likely to be accompanied by serious and debilitating side-effects, the type this new treatment also avoids.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and Founder of CANCERactive commented, “Improvements in laser guidance will improve on the above figures. At the end of the day, the treatment is only as good as the ‘agent’ – here the bacteria from the ocean floor are especially sensitive to light.

The treatment thus has the potential to work with any cancer, including deep seated cancers. One question, with any agent, is how long does the killing effect last. Another is what level of healthy cells are simultaneously damaged”.

2017 Research
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