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Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic (Laser) Therapy - PDT

Photodynamic therapy (PTD) is one of the most promising and gentle treatment approaches in biological cancer therapy; tumor patients are now being treated with this relatively simple and gentle form of therapy consisting of a laser light in combination with different light-sensitive substances.

PDT is a minimally invasive treatment option for various cancers. PDT refers to a method for treating tumors and other tissue changes (such as angiogenesis) with light in combination with a light-activated substance. Compared to traditional chemotherapy, side effects hardly occur and the immune system is activated, rather than burdened. This is an outstanding advantage for our patients.

At the beginning of the treatment the patients are given light-sensitive substances (photosensitizers based on plant substances) intravenously. These natural substances accumulate in the cancer cells causing a strong sensitivity to light. The enriched tumor cells are then treated with laser light of a specific wavelength (i.e. colour), which triggers the photosensitizers to synthetize aggressive oxygen radicals within these cells, which leads to their destruction. In contrast, the healthy cells remain unaffected by this chemical reaction.

In ophthalmology and dermatology, PDT is now used as a standard procedure. In oncology, compared to surgical treatment, PDT offers the advantage of a non-invasive or minimally-invasive procedure.

Particularly, the removal of healthy tissue surrounding a tumor (for safety reasons) is unnecessary. The use PDT has been and is being studied scientifically – inter alia with prostate and bladder cancer (interstitial laser therapy) – and is therefore ideally suited to treat and destroy cancerous tissue in one treatment, without severe side effects, and depending on its size and location.

This photosentitizing agent can also penetrate parasites, bacteria and viruses, allowing them to be destroyed by light. Photodynamic laser therapy is thereby well suited for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections, MRSA (hospital germs), Lyme disease, hepatitis and multiple sclerosis. This is a further development of photodynamic laser therapy, which in the past was mainly applied as antibacterial photodynamic therapy notably in dentistry to destroy bacteria.

The blood irradiation is a special form of PDT during which laser light is guided via a catheter into the vein directly into the flowing blood. For a systemic biological cancer therapy, this blood-cleansing treatment can be done in a targeted tumor area. Almost all patients show a general stabilization, an energization and overall positive effects – even with chronic liver disease, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and various other diseases as well as with parasites in the bloodstream.

Treatments mainly were performed in cancers for lung, head and neck, pancreas, breast, and ovarian cancer, as well as in esophageal and colon cancer using endoscopic technology. Since 2014, 2 new photosensitizers are available for intravenous and interstitial laser therapy; pure Hypericin with stimulation by a new developed yellow laser 589 nm, and pure Curcumin with stimulation by 405 nm blue laser.

Now cancer patients are normally treated with all 3 photosensitizers: Chlorin E6 with red laser activation, Hypericin with yellow laser and Curcumin with blue laser activation, red, yellow and blue laser for optimization of the PDT.

This treatment can be combined with low dose chemotherapy like 5-FU or Cis-Platin whereupon those drugs are also stimulated by laser therapy according to their absorption maximum and so can be used as photosensitizers as well. So today dose chemo drugs can be used in low concentration with laser therapy as well for achieving better results. Since PDT leads to a specific immunization after necrosis or apoptosis a follow up therapy with the macrophage activating factor GcMAF is recommended.

This follow-up immunotherapy will target especially existing or hidden metastases that are not accessible by interstitial PDT.

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