Use Of Photodynamic Therapy And Chemotherapy Provide Greater Curative Essay

Use Of Photodynamic Therapy And Chemotherapy Provide Greater Curative Essay

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Does the combined use of Photodynamic Therapy and Chemotherapy provide greater curative
results in cancerous cells than Chemotherapy alone?
The term ‘Laser’ is the acronym for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation’. A laser is a
unidirectional beam of light with the ability to be amplified. The electrons can be excited to a higher energy
state by an external source and emit a photon in the process of returning to ground state. When a photon is
introduced another electron is caused to return to a lower excited state, emitting another photon, and hence
a chain reaction occurs. The photons reflect off both a partial and full mirror within the laser and travel back
and forth through the active medium, eventually gaining sufficient energy to produce a beam of light (the
laser beam) through the partial mirror. Many scientific, commercial, medical and military practical
applications have been developed, with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) becoming an increasingly popular
method to treat cancerous cells. PDT uses a photosensitiser and a laser beam to 1 activate the drug. In
order to determine if PDT in conjunction with Chemotherapy provides greater curative results than only
Chemotherapy, the PDT method, chemotherapy method and the health implications of PDT were
investigated.
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment which combines the use of photosensitisers and a laser beam of a
specific wavelength to activate the photosensitiser. ‘In the first step of the process a photosensitiser is
administered to the patient, either locally or systemically. After a delay to allow for optimum biodistribution,
the treatment site is irradiated with visible or near-infrared light source’ (Wilson & Patterson, 2008). A
photochemical reaction is ini...


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invasive procedure with limited damage to healthy surrounding cells. PDT harnesses the properties of
unidirectional laser light to activate the drug properties of photosensitisers. It is highly beneficial to combine
the use of PDT and chemotherapy, using chemotherapy to initially treat large tumours and metastatic
cancerous cells and PDT to kill the reoccurring tumours in a specific position. Chemotherapy alone
provides less curative results as fast growing health cells are destroyed in all stages of treatment, where
PDT gives the body an opportunity to remain healthy while destroying only the necessary cells. For PDT to
become applicable for all cancers and to even become the sole treatment for some, the development of
more powerful photosensitisers, which can be activated by a minimal amount of light (still of the specific
wavelength), should be greatly supported.

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