New Cancer Treatment
One of the major problems in cancer treatment is the side effects. However, there is a Norwegian biotech company that is on its way of achieving its goal of creating a treatment that will only kill the cancerous cells and leave the other cells unharmed.
Finding a drug that kills the cancerous cells is not the issue. The problem is in the active components of the drugs which also kill the surrounding cells resulting in the severe symptoms experienced in cancer treatment.
Any cancer researcher dreams of developing a drug that only kills the cancerous cells without affecting the other cells in the body; and this can be achieved in two ways: developing a target drug that only kills the cancerous cells and finding a way to administer the drugs directly into the affected areas without affecting the other cells.
The Norwegian company, PCI Biotech has been conducting a research, since 2000, on developing such treatment and they are closer to achieving their goal. The project is known as Photochemical Internalization of Chemotherapy and is headed by the scientist Anders Høgset.
The technology used in this treatment involves directing red laser light to the targeted area which will in turn enhance the delivery of the drug to that specific location with cancerous cells. However, for the light to be effective, a photosensitizing compound is also administered.
The photosensitizing compound is a molecule known as Amphinex®, which is injected into the patient before the drug is administered and allowed to circulate in the body for a few days. Once the drug is administered to the patient, the laser light is shone on the cancerous region where both the drug and Amphinex® are both present. The light causes the Amphinex® to trigger the processes in the cancerous cells thus making the drug more effective.
The problem of delivering the drug inside the cancerous cells, which is behind the large doses administered to patients that result in severe side effects, has now been solved through the use of this treatment. This has led to the decrease in the dose administered to patients thus significantly reducing the side effects seen in cancer treatments.
Trials performed by PCI Biotech in collaboration with the University College London Hospital have shown that patients under the program are responding well to treatment as the tumors are disappearing, and there are no serious side effects encountered.
The treatment has mainly focused on localized treatment thus many cancer patients are set to greatly benefit from these treatment. The company is also looking to extend its studies to provide treatment for metastatic cancer.
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