Original news release was issued by the The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), written by Joanna Carver.
We are running out of things to say about cancer. It just plain sucks, and every advancement in its treatment is a joyous occasion. Yesterday was certainly one of those days, with a report of an exciting sounding treatment coming out of UTSA Department of Biology. The method developed by associate professor Matthew Gdovin is non-invasive and targeted at especially serious or complicated cases.
Gdovin’s research involves injecting a chemical compound, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumor and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue. He then aims a beam of ultraviolet light at the tissue, causing the cells to become very acidic inside and, essentially, commit suicide. Within two hours, Gdovin estimates up to 95 percent of the targeted cancer cells are dead.
“There are so many types of cancer for which the prognosis is very poor,” Gdovin said. “We’re thinking outside the box and finding a way to do what for many people is simply impossible.”
Gdovin tested his method against triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of cancer and one of the hardest to treat. The prognosis for triple negative breast cancer is usually very poor. After one treatment in the laboratory, he was able to stop the tumor from growing and double chances of survival in mice.
The method is considerably less invasive than chemotherapy, which affects the entire body. Gdovin’s approach targets the tumor specifically, removing hair loss, pain and feeling sick out of the equation. Only one injection and a flash of ultraviolet light to trigger the cancer-killing reaction is required.
Patients who suffer from especially aggressive forms of cancer, or have tumors in complicated or inaccessible locations are those who may benefit from this method the most. Since current treatment is not equipped for these cases, an effective alternative approach may give hope to a lot of people who previously had none.