Life Extension Magazine November 2012
Innovative Laser Therapy Offers New Hope for Breast Cancer Patients
By Logan Bromwell
We are still losing the war on cancer.1
While the establishment brags that more cancer patients survive than ever before, the horrific side effects inflicted by conventional therapy often leave patients partially or severely debilitated, and set the stage for deadly secondary diseases.
Over 570,000 Americans are expected to die from cancer this year.2 For those people, the dangerous mix of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery not only failed to cure the cancer, but destroyed their remaining quality of life. Meanwhile, many promising therapeutic techniques languish in laboratories and private clinics, quashed by excessive FDA regulations and greedy pharmaceutical giants eager to protect their own lucrative turf.
But all of that may be about to change, thanks to pioneering work on breast cancer from a progressive clinic outside the US. There, a group of physicians and scientists have teamed up in a study that's the first of its kind: a human clinical trial using a sophisticated form of laser/immune therapy to treat advanced breast cancer.3
The technique is called laser-assisted immunotherapy.
This laser treatment has the potential to destroy primary breast tumors. This unique treatment can also seek and destroy cancer cells that have spread (metastasized) from the original tumor to other parts of the body. This is especially critical as metastasized cells are the primary cause of cancer death.
In addition to being a potentially effective cancer treatment, laser-assisted immunotherapy appears to be able to act as a cancer vaccine, effectively preventing the same cancer from recurring.
This innovative procedure may be the life-saving therapy that cancer patients have been waiting for.
Laser-Assisted Immunotherapy: An Innovative Approach to Treating Advanced Cancers
An ideal approach to treating advanced cancers would accomplish two things:
1. Eliminate the original tumor.
2. Empower the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. Then, instead of having to locate and treat every infiltrated lymph node and every hidden metastasis, the body's natural tumor surveillance system would do its work, root out the cancer, and prevent recurrence.
This is the central principle behind laser-assisted immunotherapy.4,5
Laser-assisted immunotherapy involves no surgery, chemotherapy, or dangerous radiation. Instead, the technique uses a precise laser beam to destroy the primary tumor, and then delivers a powerful boost to the immune system's natural cancer defense systems.4 In this way, the entire immune system joins the fight against an individual's own specific cancer.6
Laser-assisted immunotherapy includes the following three components:
1. A laser beam operating in the "near-infrared" frequency of light.7 This beam heats tissue to a depth of several centimeters, allowing the beam to penetrate directly into a solid tumor with minimal damage to normal tissue.8 Because it can be focused directly through intact skin, no surgical incision is required. These lasers have been in use in cancer therapy for more than 20 years.9 On their own, however, they can't safely raise the temperature of tumor cells without damaging adjacent healthy tissue.9,10 That requires the use of a second component…
2. A photosensitizer, a chemical that makes cancer cells more vulnerable to destruction by the laser without the unacceptable heating of nearby normal cells.6 The technique was proven in pre-clinical studies with the use of a compound called indocyanin green (ICG) as the photosensitizer. Like the laser, ICG is safe for clinical applications and is FDA approved. The combination of the laser and photosensitizer leads to localized destruction of tumor cells. However, these two components alone may not be effective at completely ridding the body of cancer because they cannot attack distant, often hidden tumor metastases.11 To kill those, one more crucial component is required…
3. An immune system booster12, or "adjuvant," that activates the cancer patient's natural cancer-attacking killer cells.7 Growing tumors have multiple ways of evading the immune system, effectively concealing their abnormal nature from circulating immune surveillance cells. Once the tumor is partially broken up by the laser, however, the injection of the adjuvant then calls the immune system's attention to the newly revealed tumor markers.8,13 Circulating immune cells can then begin killing malignant cells anywhere they have spread in the body.14 This immune booster may soon be submitted to FDA for approval and those involved in submitting the New Drug Application have asked that we not disclose its name in print.
The key aspect of this approach is that the stimulated immune system attacks not only the primary tumor, but also metastases located anywhere in the body.4,6,15 Because those metastases often bear the same abnormal signal proteins as the primary tumor, they now essentially have a mark on their back for the body's natural defense mechanism to seek out and destroy—no matter where they've moved to in the body.
As an added bonus, the immune system "remembers" the identifying markers of the cancer and continuously maintains surveillance to prevent future recurrence.16 In essence, laser-assisted immunotherapy creates a tiny "vaccine factory" within the victim's body that throws the entire immune system's resources at precisely that person's own tumor (see Sidebar at the end of this article for more on this topic).14