Photodynamic tumor therapy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a completely new and particularly interesting variant of laser therapy for cancer treatment. PDT is already used for tumor therapy in various specialties, both curative and palliative. Experts see the future of the method in the curative therapy of early malignant tissue changes of the skin and endoscopically accessible hollow organs.
Using light and oxygen to attack cancer cells
Simply summarized, photodynamic therapy is a laser therapy that is performed in combination with a light-sensitive substance. A photosensitizer is introduced into the body by infusions and accumulates specifically in the tumor cells. By irradiating it with laser light of suitable wavelengths, it is activated in such a way that oxygen radicals (singlet oxygen molecules) are formed, which can destroy tumor cells.
Chlorophyll – the most effective photosensitizer derived from nature
Studies have shown that cancer cells have a special transport mechanism for chlorophyll, by which they take up many times more chlorophyll per unit of time than healthy neighboring cells. One of the most effective photosensitizers is the semi-synthetic Chlorin E6, which is produced from the green dye chlorophyll. A pharmacological process removes part of the molecule from the chlorophyll extracted from grass. This changes the light absorption behavior of the substance. By irradiating it with laser light of the appropriate wavelengths, it is activated so that singlet oxygen molecules are formed which can effectively destroy tumor cells. These oxygen radicals only exist for seconds and then convert directly into normal oxygen. The advantage is obvious: after PDT treatment, no toxins remain in the body that could prevent recovery.
Treating cancer with PDT with few side effects
Our patients are intravenously administered the photosensitizer, which is deposited in the tumor tissue. Subsequently, an irradiation with laser light takes place. The treatment takes less than half an hour after the laser light guide cable is inserted into the tumor and does not cause any significant side effects or pain. After the therapy is completed, it takes several weeks for the immune system to eliminate and remove the dead cells. A follow-up check with appropriate examination procedures, e.g. ultrasound, is recommended after 1-2 months.
PDT treatment at the Arcadia Praxisklinik
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) has been used for cancer treatment at Arcadia Praxisklinik for some time. Whether PDT is suitable for you and your cancer treatment can only be determined on the basis of a detailed examination and diagnosis. Please feel free to contact us for further information.