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Photodynamic therapy

David Kessel
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 5 Number 4: Page 46 (August 1998)

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Abstract: When a porphyrin molecule absorbs light, it either emits a photon at a longer wavelength or transforms and oxygen molecule to an activated state. Suitably prepared porphyrin derivatives tend to concentrate in tissues where metabolic activity is high, including tumors and tumor vessels. The fluorescence effect permits endoscopic localization of tumors, and the oxidizing effect of signlet oxygen has the potential to damage and kill cells. These are the priciples of photodynamic tharapy, which is being employed with success in the treatment of tumors in the esophagus, lung, and bladder and which may find applications outside the field of oncology as well.

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