We are happy to provide information about this method from the research of Dr. Dirk Hüttenberger, Heidelberg.
Dr. Hüttenberger is available for supporting applications at various cooperating houses in order to spread this method further.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with Chlorin E6 is a health-preserving treatment method for the removal of degenerated cells that, when used correctly, can replace surgical procedures and radiation. The method uses only oxygen, light and a so-called photosensitizer (light-sensitive substance) based on natural chlorophyll (Chlorin E6). In some cases, PDT can even be used when surgery is not possible.
Procedure of photodynamic therapy
The light-sensitive substance (photosensitizer chlorin E6 from the green alga chlorella ellipsoidea) is injected into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body, applied topically (as a cream) or injected locally into the tumor. The substance accumulates primarily in cancer cells. However, it is activated only by laser light of a specific wavelength. When the degenerated cells are exposed to a laser, the substance activation results in an interaction with oxygen, which gives rise to so-called singlet oxygen, a short-lived, high-energy type of oxygen that destroys the cancer cells.
Health risks and side effects are significantly lower compared to current treatment methods. PDT specifically targets tumor tissue, and healthy cells are spared as much as possible. In particular, there is no need for the extensive removal of healthy tissue in the vicinity of the tumor, which is necessary for safety reasons, as is the case with surgical interventions. In contrast to classical chemotherapy, PDT with E6 does not burden the immune system, but actually strengthens it. This is referred to as “PDT immunization.”
PDT of tumors is normally performed in a single radiation session, but there is certainly the possibility of repetition. Since the irradiation is done with normal light, the exposure of the patients is relatively low compared to the “classical” therapy methods. Photodynamic treatment does not block the way for other therapeutic approaches, these can still be carried out if necessary, should a complete cure not be achieved.
Photodynamic therapy is also feasible in many cases where surgery is not possible due to special risks or concomitant diseases.
By using lasers in combination with optical fibers, tumors on endoscopically accessible internal body surfaces can also be treated. In addition, larger tumors can also be treated by piercing such fibers into the tissue. The laser light is then guided through the special light guide to the part of the body to be treated and focused so that it hits only the tumor, with a small amount of healthy tissue, so that all tumor cells are exposed. The exposure often takes only a few minutes. Overall, PDT causes very little damage to healthy cells. Effectiveness and precision are what make PDT so valuable.
For a period of time after the photosensitizer is injected, precautions must be taken to protect the skin and eyes from direct sunlight or strong artificial light. Appropriate clothing and eye protection must be worn for this purpose, and common rooms must be adequately darkened. Temporary side effects after PDT such as the occurrence of pain, swelling and/or problems with swallowing, and bleeding (when treating head and neck cancer) are possible.
PDT with E6 is used for:
Precancerous skin lesions
Urinary bladder tumors
Tumors of the oral cavity or larynx
Squamous cell carcinoma
Certain forms of basalioma
Early forms of spinalioma
After PDT, the destroyed cells are replaced by normal cells. This results in good healing with only minor scarring (less than other methods of tumor removal such as surgical treatment). Even patients who have already been treated with surgical treatment, radiotherapy or chemotherapy can be safely treated with PDT.
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