A recent study published by researchers at the University of Toronto demonstrates the effectiveness of Photothermal Ablation Therapy for lung cancer, by using a low-power near infrared (NIR) laser and indocyanine green (ICG) – a cyanine based dye used in medical diagnosis. Laserglow’s 808nm laser was used as the illumination source.
Lung cancer is the leading source of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Surgery has been found to be the most effective option for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In some cases, however, the presence of other mutant cells (diseases) compromises the ability of lungs to receive surgery. This necessitates the development of methods like photodynamic therapy (PDT) which is a treatment that uses a drug called ‘photosensitizer’ that when exposed to the light of a certain wavelength, would produce singular oxygen that kills nearby cells. PDT has been effective for certain endobronchial tumors, but current lasers are not suitable for tumors in the peripheral lung. Photothermal Ablation Therapy is an adaptation of PDT, where thin laser probes are used to ‘heat up’ the tumorous cells, thereby destroying them.
The researchers used an 808nm, 250mW laser, and ICG to perform 2 in-vitro and 1 in-vivo (transgenic mice) study on human cancer cells. The in-vitro studies involved irradiating the ICG with the laser and observing the responses to the hyperthermic treatment on 3 separate cancer cell lines. It was shown that cancer cell survival rate (and regrowth rate) was inversely proportional to the temperature and time duration of irradiation. The in-vivo study also revealed significant tumor reduction (in some cases, total tumor disappearance) for the 3 mice used in the study.
The study was published in Volume 22, Issue 2 of ‘Journal of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology’ in April 2015. To learn more about the study, methodology and experimental setup involved, read the full paper at Journal of Bronchology Full Paper
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