Experts have honed a cutting-edge method to kill off tumors with less damage to healthy cells.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and STEBA Biotech have announced the success of the unique method they developed to fight prostate cancer. This treatment, which the group of expects called “transformative,” has shown promising results.
Under development since 2011, vascular targeted photodynamic therapy (VPT), as the procedure is called, is carried out in a two-step process. Patients are first introduced to WST11 — a compound extracted from some benthic bacteria, or bacteria that dwell at the bottom of the sea. These bacteria are particularly special, though, as they are highly light-sensitive.
Optical fibers are then inserted through an area called the perineum, found between the the testes and the anus, and directly into the prostate gland. Afterwards, the scientists turn on a red laser that is induced through the optical fibers. This process utilizes the photosensitivity of the WST11 drug and activates it. Upon activation, free radicals are released within the area, attacking and destroying the tumors. Unlike conventional treatments which might affect a general area of body cells, this treatment is localized. The nearby cells are left more or less unharmed.