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November 10, 2007

New Targeted Approach To Light-Activated Cancer Drugs With Tumor-Seeking Antibodies Shows Promise

Topics: Medicine

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A research team, led by scientists from Imperial and the Imperial spin-out company PhotoBiotics, has shown that their antibody-carrying light-sensitive drugs have effected complete tumour regression in an animal model.
New research at Imperial College of London's Department of Life Sciences suggests that combining light-activated cancer drugs with tumour-seeking antibodies could provide a more effective way of treating many cancers.
Using light-activated drugs to treat cancer is known as photodynamic therapy (PDT). This treatment involves focusing drugs on diseased tissues, and then illuminating the area with a cold laser which sets off a chain reaction in the cancerous tissue, converting oxygen to a highly toxic type of oxygen-like bleach, which destroys cells in the vicinity. PDT has been shown to be successful in treating head and neck, prostate and skin cancers.

However, current PDT is limited by the inefficiency with which the light-activated drugs are able to specifically target tumours. This can mean that the light-activated drugs can circulate in the patient's body for some time after the treatment, leaving patients light-sensitive and prone to skin damage. The research team behind the new study think their results show they can solve this problem by ensuring the drugs get straight to the cancerous cells, and do not affect the rest of the body.

Continue reading: New Targeted Approach To Light-activated Cancer Drugs

Related: Light Activated Anticancer Drug Targeted To DNA Using Cisplatin Like Sub-units

Cross posted from New Hope Blog

Posted by Richard at November 10, 2007 10:20 PM



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