Photodynamic therapy uses non-toxic photo-sensitizers and harmless visible light in conjunction with oxygen to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species which kill cells by apoptosis and/or necrosis.
SonoPhotoDynamic Therapy (SPDT) is not a new idea, the principle behind it was proposed more than one-hundred years ago. It was not until the late 1990's that the form of therapy recognized today became effective, safe, and non-invasive and a means of treating types of cancer.
The term, 'photodynamic,' means, 'activated by photons,' or light. The substance that is activated is referred to as a, 'sensitizer.' SPDT is used both systemically and semi-locally. When the term, 'systemically,' is used in relation to SPDT, it means the treatment is applied to the person's entire body, while, 'semi-locally,' means treatments are applied to a large, yet local area of the person's body.
SPDT, unlike surgery or radiation therapies, is not a form of local therapy. Surgeons remove tumors or, 'lumps,' while radiation therapists treat small areas of the body. These forms of therapies are often times too damaging for extensive use.
SonoDynamic Therapy (SDT) and SPDT
Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT) is similar to SPDT with the exception that the sensitizer is activated by sound instead of by light. SDT is a semi-local form of therapy. SDT is used in combination with SPDT because the two forms of therapies work better together than separately. The strategy is to intensively treat areas where cancer is present or likely to be present with semi-local SPDT and SDT, and the person's entire body with less-intensive SPDT. SDT works well with deeper tumors because a person's body transmits sound more effectively than light. Research evidence also demonstrates that both forms of therapies used in conjunction are more effective than light therapy by itself.
How the Therapies Work
Photodynamic therapy uses non-toxic photo-sensitizers and harmless visible light in conjunction with oxygen to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species which kill cells by apoptosis and/or necrosis. They essentially shut down the tumor microvasculature and simulate the host immune system. In comparison, radiotherapy, surgery, and chemotherapy are largely immunosuppressive. Photodynamic therapy, on the other hand, causes expression of heat-shock proteins, acute inflammation, invasion and infiltration of the tumor by leukocytes, and may increase the presentation of tumor-derived antigens to T cells.
SPDT and SDT therapies kill cancer, something that is documented through a range of evidence. Independent evidence, to include improved or normalized tumor marker values, improved scans, the disappearance of detectable cancer such as hard nodules on the prostate and more demonstrate the effectiveness of SPDT and SDT. Photodynamic diagnosis revealing tumors prior to treatment and the progressive disappearance of the same tumors as treatments progress, also document the success of these forms of treatments. Subjective evidence exists as well, to include improvements in the health of cancer patients, decreased pain, improved sleep, improved breathing, and lengthier periods of freedom from evidence of cancer on the parts of persons who had cancer.
There is no evidence of damage in people who have used SPDT and SDT treatments over the long term. Assuming a person is a good candidate for these forms of treatments, the best strategy is to continue treatments until there is no evidence of cancer. Photodynamic therapy has been used therapeutically for around one-hundred years. There is currently a body of research articles in excess of 8,600 items concerning it.
Advantages of SPDT and SDT
SPDT and SDT kill cancer without longer term damage, making it very acceptable to people who pursue these forms of therapies. The treatments may be repeated as needed. Conventional forms of cancer therapies, while perhaps effective, can be limited by the long term damages they cause; they may fail ultimately as well. Surgery is many times effective, but surgeries cannot be repeated very often. Every time a person has surgery they lose healthy tissues. Radiation therapy is damaging and people have a maximum lifetime dose.
Chemotherapy causes a person's body to build up resistance to the treatment itself. Various drugs may be used, often with increased toxicity and a decrease in tolerance on the part of both the person and their body. Even if chemotherapy proves effective, it may eventually fail to be effective.
The administration of SPDT and SDT treatments, on the other hand, do not cause long term damage. There is no evidence that these forms of treatments lose their effectiveness. SPDT and SDT can be repeated as often as necessary to treat existing cancer or any recurrences.
Reasons SPDT or SDT May Not Work
There are some different reasons why SPDT or SDT might not work, most have to do with factors related to the person. The person may wait too long before receiving SPDT or SDT therapy, reaching the stage where a complete recovery is no longer possible. The importance of reaching for treatment in time cannot be over-emphasized. The person may not receive enough SPDT or SDT therapy, or may be in too poor of an overall state of health.
Other reasons SPDT or SDT therapy may not work could include the fact that a person has no real interest in surviving cancer. They may have medical issues that preclude the use of SPDT or SDT; for example - when cancer has invaded a large blood vessel. A person may be too demoralized from the side-effects of prior forms of treatments or a gloomy prognoses and have given up hope.
SPDT and SDT therapy are most effective against forms of cancer such as breast, prostate and skin cancers. When used in combination with hyperthermia, SPDT has been shown to be effective against heavy, deep tumors such as ovarian or bowel cancers, and is also highly-effective against small tumors such as metastases; bony metastases in particular. SPDT is now being used to treat liver and lung metastases. Twenty-five nations in the European Union have registered and licensed physicians using these forms of therapies.
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