Jan 25, 2016, 1:39 PM
News Code: 81934793
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Using nanotechnology, laser to treat cancer

Tehran, Jan 25, IRNA - Iranian scientists have achieved great success in applying the technology of laser therapy and nanotechnology in fighting cancerous cells, said Dr. Reza Fekr-Azad, the head of Iranian Medical Laser Association.

Talking to the Tehran-based English newspaper 'Iran Daily', Fekr-Azad said laser therapy is used in combination with nanoparticles to destroy cancer cells.

He explained that nanoparticles are injected into the body of patients and then are directed toward cancerous cells with the help of an anti-body, which is also designed by researchers.

'Then laser light is applied to target light-sensitive nanoparticles.

'As a result, the nanoparticles start to get warmer, which consequently leads to the destruction of cancerous cells,' he explained.

He said the laser beams, which are highly selective, target the cancerous cells with precision.

Fekr-Azad said that the results of early studies have been published in one of the editions of American Nanomedicine Journal under the name of Iran.

'The treatment method has been practiced on lab animals in Tarbiat Modarres University and Aja University of Medical Sciences (Medical University for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army),'he said.

The specialist placed great importance on laser therapy and said laser contributes to early diagnoses.

He referred to photodynamic therapy as one of the most effective ways of treating cancer.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses a drug, called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, and a particular type of light.

When photosensitizers are exposed to a specific wavelength of light, they produce a form of oxygen that destroys nearby cells.

Each photosensitizer is activated by light of a specific wavelength (3, 4).

This wavelength determines how far the light can travel into the body (3, 5). Thus, doctors use specific photosensitizers and wavelengths of light to treat different areas of the body with PDT.

'The method is commonly used in the most developed care centers of the world.

'However, it is not yet popular in Iran. The method has been used on a number of limited cases in Rasoul Akram Hospital and University Jihad of Tehran,' he added.

The specialist said Iran ranks among the most developed nations in terms of access to laser therapy know-how.

'The country has made remarkable gains in laser therapy despite Western sanctions,'he said.

He said Iran has also made progress in using laser to treat eye and skin diseases, adding laser is also available in physiotherapy clinics of Iran.

'Laser has replaced surgical knives. It is widely used in urology, general surgery, gynecology, removal of kidney stones, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and brain and nervous system disorders,' he said.

He noted that laser has the least side effect compared to other treatment methods.