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Potential Cancer Cure

A research team from Korea Institute of Science and Technology has developed a new cancer-targeting phototherapeutic agent capable of eliminating cancer cells with almost no side effects.

Researchers have developed a new phototherapy technology capable of substantially increasing efficiency - while also reducing the pain - of chemotherapy, according to a recent study published in the journal Nano. The new phototherapy technology also minimizes side effects typically associated with chemotherapy, while eliminating cancer cells.

As a cancer treatment modality relying on light, phototherapy technology involves the injection of a photosensitizer. It collects only in cancer cells - which are selectively destroyed when a laser is fired into the body.

This method has far fewer notable side effects than typical treatments like general chemotherapy or radiation therapy - which almost always cause damage to tissue surrounding cancer cells - which makes repeated treatment more feasible.

Chemotherapy is a treatment process for cancer - where drugs are introduced into the body to fight cancer. One of the most commonly used drugs is called cisplatin - which binds to tumor cell DNA and damages the structure, ultimately killing the cancer cells.

Photodynamic therapy is different. It introduces a metal complex into cancerous tumors and zaps it with lasers - creating a reactive species of oxygen that interact with and destroy cancerous cells.

Nobody wants to get cancer. In oneself or a loved one, the changes chemotherapy bring on both physically and emotionally can make for the better, but are often only for worse. But with new phototherapy methods like the one from this study, new hope is emerging that the 2020s may be the decade to cure cancer, once and for all.

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