Light against Cancer raises awareness of photodynamic therapy to treat tumours

23 February 2012

Frankfurt, Germany. To mark World Cancer Day earlier this month, the German organisation Light against Cancer is raising awareness of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) as a new therapeutic approach for treating cancer without the side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Dr Winrich Rauschning, oncologist and PDT specialist, said: "The future of cancer therapy belongs among others to molecular biological research. It reveals the mechanisms of carcinogenesis. These insights resulted in the idea to influence specific metabolic processes with the aim to prevent carcinogenesis or slow it down. Here, there are trend-setting approaches in place that may once be developed into a cancer vaccine.

“Light in combination with so-called photosensitisers (PDT) can often be a very good alternative and addition, because it works locally in a very accurate way. Good examples are skin tumours and the head and neck area.”

Battling cancer cells with light-sensitive, non-toxic agents reacting with light, specifically laser light takes place in a gentle and function-conserving way as well as mostly without scarring. Thus PDT also offers patients significant value for aesthetic reasons.

Photodynamic therapy is a procedure for the treatment of tumours and other tissue mutations. It applies light in combination with a light-activatable substance (photosensitiser) and oxygen present in the tissue. The sensitiser gathers selectively in the tumour or tissue mutation. When the cancer cells are exposed to light with the appropriate wave length, reactive types of oxygen are generated impacting on and destroying cancer cells.

The organisation even quotes led Zeppelin guitarist Robert Plant and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, both of whom lost friends or family to cancer, as supporting PDT.

In Germany, there is a growing number of hospitals and medical practices treating patients with PDT. In England and the Netherlands, photodynamic therapy is already paid for by the public health insurances.

About Light against Cancer

Light against Cancer is an ambitious private initiative against cancer with a focus on Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in Germany. Light against Cancer intends to make PDT better known to the public and help to entrench it as an established form of therapy against the widespread disease cancer. We have set ourselves the goal to educate about PDT and to convince physicians and people affected of the advantages of PDT.

Further information is available in

In the UK the charity Killing Cancer is promoting PDT for a wide range of cancers and other diseases:


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