Words by Smiley Team
A new form of photoimmunotherapy is capable of lighting up and killing cancer cells – a huge step forward in finding cures for cancer.
It's all done through a light-activated therapy, created by mixing a fluorescent dye with a cancer-killing compound. The dye glows in the dark, making the cancer cells significantly more visible to medical staff. And the treatment is even capable of wiping out microscopic cancer traces, resulting in a revolutionary anti-tumour effect.
“Surgery is challenging due to the location of the tumours, and so new ways to see tumour cells to be removed during surgery, and to treat residual cancer cells that remain afterward, could be of great benefit,” study leader Dr. Gabriela Kramer-Marek told the Guardian.
In a trial involving mice with glioblastoma – one of the more aggressive, and most common, brain tumours – it was found that the treatment lit up even the most microscopic of cells to help surgeon’s locate and remove them.
Then, anything left over was wiped out by this incredible new treatment, after being exposed to a near-infrared light.
“Brain cancers like glioblastoma can be hard to treat and, sadly, there are too few treatment options for patients,” added Dr Gabriela Kramer-Marek.
The treatment is the result of a huge partnership of researchers from Europe, including the UK, Poland and Sweden, and was largely funded by the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre.
While it may well be years until this incredible treatment can be applied safely and effectively in humans, there’s no doubt that this is good news, and incredible progress.
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