Light against Cancer raises awareness of photodynamic therapy to
23 February 2012
Frankfurt, Germany. To mark World Cancer Day earlier this month,
the German organisation Light against Cancer is raising awareness of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
as a new therapeutic approach for treating cancer without the side
effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Dr Winrich Rauschning, oncologist and PDT
specialist, said: "The future of cancer therapy belongs among
others to molecular biological research. It reveals the mechanisms
of carcinogenesis. These insights resulted in the idea to influence
specific metabolic processes with the aim to prevent carcinogenesis
or slow it down. Here, there are trend-setting approaches in place
that may once be developed into a cancer vaccine.
“Light in combination with so-called photosensitisers (PDT) can
often be a very good alternative and addition, because it works
locally in a very accurate way. Good examples are skin tumours and
the head and neck area.”
Battling cancer cells with light-sensitive,
non-toxic agents reacting with light, specifically laser light takes
place in a gentle and function-conserving way as well as mostly
without scarring. Thus PDT also offers patients significant value
for aesthetic reasons.
Photodynamic therapy is a procedure for the treatment of tumours
and other tissue mutations. It applies light in combination with a
light-activatable substance (photosensitiser) and oxygen present in
the tissue. The sensitiser gathers selectively in the tumour or
tissue mutation. When the cancer cells are exposed to light with the
appropriate wave length, reactive types of oxygen are generated
impacting on and destroying cancer cells.
The organisation even quotes led Zeppelin guitarist Robert Plant
and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, both of whom lost
friends or family to cancer, as supporting PDT.
In Germany, there is a growing number of hospitals and medical
practices treating patients with PDT. In England and the
Netherlands, photodynamic therapy is already paid for by the public
About Light against Cancer
Light against Cancer is an ambitious private initiative against
cancer with a focus on Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in Germany. Light
against Cancer intends to make PDT better known to the public and
help to entrench it as an established form of therapy against the
widespread disease cancer. We have set ourselves the goal to educate
about PDT and to convince physicians and people affected of the
advantages of PDT.
Further information is available in
In the UK the charity Killing Cancer is promoting PDT for a wide
range of cancers and other diseases: