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Date:5/23/2008

Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Cornwall, UK, have modified a photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment that combines a topically applied cream with visible light to destroy cancer cells while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.

The cream is applied directly to skin cancers and pre-cancers, which then naturally produces a photosensitive drug. A special red light is then shone on the tumour a few hours later, to activate this light sensitive compound. This results in cellular damage and the destruction of the tumour.

This technique results in reduced scarring and little or no damage to the surrounding healthy cells.

By adding the iron chelator CP94 to the cream, the research team have found that the effects of PDT are greatly improved and achieve greater reductions in tumour depth in tumours currently too thick to be treated easily by the non-enhanced form of this treatment.

This is the first time in the world that PDT trials of this modified PDT treatment have been carried out involving humans. Trials involving patients have taken place at clinics at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in Truro.

PDT is achieving success in the treatment of actinic keratoses (lesions that can develop after years of exposure to UV light); Bowens disease (the growth of abnormal calls that can turn into skin cancer, and that is partly due to long-term exposure to the sun); and basal cell carcinoma (the most common form of skin cancer).

The work of the Peninsula Medical School in this area of research is funded in part by the Duchy Health Charity in Cornwall.

Dr. Alison Curnow from the Peninsula Medical School in Cornwall, commented: PDT is very effective non-surgical treatment for certain types of dermatological cancers and precancers. It normally destroys the tumour without scarring or damage to surrounding healthy cells.

She added: Through years of research we have been able to develop a
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Contact: Andrew Gould
media@pr-works.co.uk
44-139-268-6107
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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