The National Cancer Institute (part of the
National Institutes of Health) awarded a ten million dollar grant toRoswell Park Cancer Institute for work on photodynamic therapy (PDT) research. The main focus of the
grant funding will be on therapy for head and neck cancers.
Roswell Park developed
PDT in the 1970s by combining light-sensitizing drugs with laser light. PDT
utilizes photosensitizers which destroy cancer cells but not healthy cells.
The treatment includes the administration of a non-toxic drug that is
initially absorbed by all cells, but then settles/accumulates in tumor
cells. Then a laser light is applied, which activates the drug and kills
the cancer cells but spares healthy cells. Since the therapy does not
induce treatment resistance or result in cumulative toxicity,
it can be repeated multiple times to increase effectiveness.
Roswell Park has been at the forefront of advancements in PDT, and this
grant will allow for further expansion of the use of this treatment. As
Dr. Gollnick stated in Roswell Park's
press release, it is his hope that "successful completion of this program will
also move PDT from a niche therapy to a standard of care treatment for
PDT is currently offered as a treatment for early endobronchial non-small
cell lung cancer, advanced endobronchial lung tumors, esophageal cancer,
Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia, mouth cancer, breast
cancer and skin cancer.
This new funding will allow Roswell Park to research further uses of the therapy.
Railroad workers who have been exposed to asbestos or diesel exhaust are
at an increased risk of cancer. If you or a loved one are a current or
former railroad worker diagnosed with cancer, please
contact us to discuss your legal rights with an experienced railroad injury lawyer.