A new, non-invasive method of cancer treatment can kill tumors in two hours. The treatment, which requires only a single dose and a beam of light, can kill up to 95 percent of cancer cells in two hours. This is the latest innovation developed by researchers from the University of Texas in San Antonio.
The technique is known as photodynamic therapy, and it involves using light to activate chemical reactions to alter the acidity inside the tumor cells while sparing healthy cells. The new treatment will prove useful to patients, especially to children and those with hard to reach growths.
Biologist and Professor Matthew Gdovin tested his newly patented method against triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of cancer and most difficult to cure. In experiments, he found that tumor in lab rats stopped growing with just one treatment.
The remarkable technique requires just injecting a chemical compound called nitrobenzaldehyde into the cancerous cells. A beam of ultraviolet light is then aimed at the tumors which cause them to become very acidic to the point of committing cellular suicide. Up to 95 percent of the targeted cells are killed within two hours.
"Even though there are many different types of cancers, the one thing they have in common is their susceptibility to this induced cell suicide," Gdovin said. Unlike photodynamic therapy, which is more precise in targeting just the tumor, chemotherapy targets all cells in the body, including the good ones, which causes patients to lose their hair and to become sickly.
Gdovin's technique which he developed in the past two years is just one of the many new cancer treatments discovered as of late. At the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that deadly anthrax toxin combined with chemotherapy drugs could reduce or even eliminate cancer cells.
This works by allowing engineered proteins from anthrax to target the cells that line the inner walls of blood vessels while sparing the good cells. The cells produce an immune response as a reaction which is why chemotherapy drugs are used to finish them off.