This new treatment for prostate cancer shows remarkable results using laser and light-sensitive deep sea bacteria.
A new method of battling prostate tumors follows a process called vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy, also known as VTP. The process involves injecting a light-sensitive drug into the patient’s blood and then activating the drug with the use of laser, which then kills cancerous tissue.
WST11, the light-sensitive drug, is derived from the deep sea bacteria which thrives by converting a tiny amount of sunlight into efficient form of energy.
prostate surgery / procedure
Researchers from the University College London led the trials on prostate cancer patients using this method developed by Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and company STEBA Biotech.
The researchers provided the light treatment in half of the patients among the data collected by the researchers from 413 patients with low-risk, localised prostate cancer. The other half were only monitored in the development of their disease without receiving the same light therapy.
Two years after, those patients who received the light treatment showed only 28 percent of them showed progression of their disease compared to the other half who did not receive the treatment.
While remarkably 49 percent of those who received the light therapy were in remission of the disease compared to the 14 percent of those in the non-treated group.
The fact that this treatment does not require removal of the prostate and rather heals the damaged tissue without damaging the good ones add to its effectiveness.
The only known side effect of the VTP treatment is the difficulty in urinating but this only occurred in 15 of more than 200 men and it was easily resolved in less than three months.
Gerald Capon, 68, one of the men who was now cancer-free after receiving the trial treatment said, "Some men prefer to delay treatment, but I couldn’t live with the fear of the cancer spreading until it either couldn’t be treated or needed a treatment that would stop me living a normal life."
Radical treatment of prostate cancer usually follows erectile dysfunction and infertility, but the VTP treatment showed no other side effects aside from the 'resolved' urination difficulty.
Another method recently discovered in curing prostate cancer is shocking the tumor cells with huge amount of testosterone
and starving the body with testosterone right after.
The researchers are working on getting the same laser treatment for other form of cancers
The study is published in published in The Lancet Oncology.
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