Snooker Champions Support ‘Killing Cancer’ Charity
Posted May 04 2010 9:03am
Killing Cancer , a charity run by David Longman is getting some serious support from people like Sir David Frost, HRH Prince Charles to rock stars such as Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey. Why? What does this charity do that is so special?
The difference is that Killing Cancer are entirely dedicated to promoting a medical approach known as Photodynamic Therapy, or PDT. PDT is supported by many internationally acclaimed cancer specialists, including within the NHS and there is much evidence to support it as a highly effective cancer treatment. However, as is the case with many new ground-breaking treatments it is generally not supported by colleagues in the larger cancer medical community.
David Longman meets with Nick Clegg
So what is PDT?
In essence, the patient is given a drug that kills tissue only when activated by light. PDT surgeons therefore operate with the light out and use a focused light source such as a laser to remove the tumour. For some types of cancer, such as skin cancer the treatment works beautifully and patients recover almost immediately with no side-effects. Other deeper tumours will naturally be more difficult, although improved endoscopes and fibre optic catheters are addressing this issue. It is also less easy to treat cancers that have spread and ‘metastasised’ into other parts of the body.
Killing Cancer and Patient Choice
The point is that thanks to the dedicated efforts of organisations such as killing Cancer, cancer patients now have a broad range of treatment options. It is no longer a case of one-size fits all. There will often be options with dramatically more effective outcomes and reduced side effects such as PDT, Cyberknife and Rapid Arc and all these options need to be properly discussed with the medical team.
PDT – The Green Option
In some cases the drug used as a ‘photosensitiser’ is closely related to the green stuff in plants i.e. chlorophyll. What could be more natural and safe? Chlorophyll and oxygen are the stuff of life, so how can it be used to cause the death of the tumour? Oxygen is potentially one of the most toxic compounds on earth – if excited or in the wrong state. It is this careful interaction involving light between chlorophyll and oxygen that is the power source for life. PDT uses this interaction to create toxic oxygen where it is needed as the ‘green’ approach to killing cancer.