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Chris Woolmams / Catherine Woollams
New form of Photodynamic Therapy working effectively on breast cancer

Mathew Gdovin an associate Professor in the University of Texas, San Antonio, (UTSA), Department of biology, has spent the last three years trying to perfect Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) and make it 100 per cent non-invasive.

He is now so pleased with his results he has patented his method. Using Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) – a cancer for which there is absolutely no effective current orthodox treatment - he has shown that injecting nitrobenzaldehyde into the tumour finds the chemical diffusing into all the cancer cells in the immediate area. He then aims a flash of Ultraviolet light at the cells and, within 2 hours, 95 per cent are dead.  It is a figure that dwarfs any claims made about chemotherapy (1).  (The results were published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology).

He now believes the system could be used with any cancer, on adults or children and with surface or hard-to-reach tumours.

In his experiments with TNBC, he took mice and infected them with the disease. After just one treatment of PDT the tumours stopped growing and the treatment doubled the chances of survival.  

“All forms of cancer attempt to make cells acidic on the outside as a way to attract blood vessel formation – in an attempt to reduce the acid. Instead the cancer latches on to the blood vessel and uses it to grow,” Gdovin said.

Gdovin is increasingly experimenting with drug-resistant cancers, and nanoparticles that can be injected into the body targeting metastasised cancer cells.  For this he uses a wavelength of light that can pass harmlessly through tissues.

Chris Woollams former Oxford University Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, "I think it is now only a matter of time before there is a PDT treatment that can kill off tumours and metastases throughout the body. Admittedly, this non-invasive treatment has been full of potential for over 100 years; but great advances in understanding the biochemistry of cancer cells so agents become more effective and more targeted, plus advances in energy delivery - from UV, to lasers, to ultrasound - are bringing the finished treatment ever closer. At CANCERactive, we have been keeping our readers up-to-date with the latest advances for the past 15 years.

Here we are already seeing a treatment with the potential to deliver far better results than any current orthodox therapy."

Go To: A Review of Photodynamic Therapy leading to other pages


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