CANBERRA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have developed a method of treating cancer and soft tissue injuries using light.
The teams from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research (HIMR) and Swinburne University told News Corp Australia that the revolutionary treatments could make surgery pills and injections a thing of the past.
Andrew Stephens, a research fellow at the HIMR, has undertaken trials of new photodynamic cancer drug IXV-PO2 to kill ovarian cancer cells in petri dishes.
When exposed to light beams of a certain length, IXV-PO2 becomes toxic to cancer cells.
"We've done lots of testing in the lab and it has been very effective at killing tumor cells. It's not a case of will it or won't it work, it's a case of how effective it will be," Stephens said.
Unlike previous similar treatments, IXV-PO2 does not require patients to be isolated in a darkened room for weeks or months after treatment and manufacturer Invion has turned the pill into a gel that can be applied to the skin.
Researchers now want to test if the gel can not only kill the cancer but prevent it from returning.
"We already know it can kill ovarian cancer tumors now we want to know what the immune consequences are, can it lead to a protective response," Stephens said.
At Swinburne, roboticist Mats Isakson has invented a robot that uses light to treat soft tissue injuries and chronic pain.
It works by identifying inflammation in the body then applying a laser onto the spot for six minutes at a time for up to 30 minutes to control pain and reduce inflammation.