Fotodynamic therapy developed at the University of Helsinki fights cancer

Combined with surgical treatment, fotodynamic therapy can prevent the recurrence of cancer tumours.

n fotodynamic therapy the target cells are administered with a photosensitizer after which the tissue to be treated is exposed to light suitable for exciting the photosensitizer, causing a reaction in the cells that kills them.

According to researcher Tuomas Tammela, fotodynamic therapy is not intended to replace the surgical treatment of cancer but to combine with it, creating an approach that can significantly reduce the recurrence of cancer. “Since this therapy concept is already an established practice in the field of eye diseases, it can probably be fairly easily accepted and applied to the treatment of cancer patients,” he says.

Further research at the University of Helsinki has shown that when fotodynamic therapy is combined with the surgical removal of cancer tumours and lymph nodes, the recurrence of the tumours is significantly reduced compared to purely surgical treatment. The research was published in Science Transnational Medicine in February 2011.

Source: University of Helsinki