Blue light for cancer treatment

September 23, 2008

A blue curing light used to harden dental fillings also may stunt tumour growth, according to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia in the USA. Before you rush off to your dentist to request a quick blast, this research has so far only been tried on mice.

So what are they basing this on? According to a quartet of professors at the College, the light dentists use sends wavelengths of blue-violet light to the composite used in your filling, and it then, which triggers it to set and harden. Or in professor-speak “The light waves produce free radicals that activate the catalyst and speed up polymerization of the composite resin” The important thing is that in oral cancer cells, those radicals cause damage that decreases cell growth and increases cell death.” Or in other words, it can stop the tumour from growing and kill off cancerous cells.

The results so far indicate an approximate 10% increase in cell death in tumours treated with the blue light and almost 80% decrease in cell growth. It also appears that the non-cancerous cells appear unaffected at light doses that kill tumour cells and this could mean using this method alongside conventional cancer therapy so that patients could receive lower doses of chemotherapy – and reduce the unpleasant side effects that such exposure can bring.


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