Laser therapy as brain cancer treatment could lead to new treatment options – A discovery

  • Neurosurgeons discover a  new breakthrough on what laser therapy can bring to brain cancer patients
  • Apparently, laser breaks down blood-brain barrier allowing drugs to penetrate the cancer stricken site
  • With trials being done, researchers hope to publish their findings late this year

Neurosurgeons today have high hopes on the new breakthrough they have discovered after using laser treatment to brain cancer patients.

The discovery have been shared by a professor of neurosurgery at Washington University, St. Louis in the person of Dr. Eric Leuthardt to correspondent Ben Gruber and was published on Reuters online.

According to Dr. Eric Leuthardt: “We were able to show that this blood-brain barrier is broken down for about four weeks after you do this laser therapy.”

Describing what a blood-brain barrier is, the doctor said that the blood-brain barrier is sort of a natural “security system” which shields the brain from toxins in the blood but also blocks potentially helpful drugs such as chemotherapy.

Because of these findings, the doctor also explained the effect of the broken blood-brain barrier into the patient; saying: “So not only are you killing the tumor, you are actually opening up a window of opportunity to deliver various drugs and chemicals and therapies that could otherwise not get there.”

With the recent discovery, a trial is being done to patients who had been treated with laser therapy.

Apparently these patients are given the powerful chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, which is known as one of the least likely to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.

Leuthardt further explained that: “What’s interesting is that the blood-brain barrier is a two-way street, by breaking it down, you can get things into the brain, but also by breaking it down now things can go from your brain out into your circulation, to your peripheral system, which includes your immune system.”

He also talked about the use of drug  in order to amplify the immune system to fight the cancer in combination with laser therapy.

One of the patients undergoing a clinical trial is Kathy Smith; a person previously diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 but is being treated for recurrent glioblastoma — one of the most difficult to treat form of brain cancer.

Sharing her feelings and expectations she said: “Kind of makes you smile when they say you are a good candidate for something new.

The doctor said trials are still going on and has promising initial results.

Meanwhile, they also hope that their findings will be published not later this year.

Take a look at this interesting video from Reuters via You Tube.




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