Light powered platinum to treat cancer.

Researchers at The University of Warwick are using a light-activated platinum-based compound to treat cancers. The process can be up to 80 times more effective than other platinum-based anti-cancer drugs.

According to Warwick:

“The compound could be used in particular to treat surface cancers. Patients could be treated in a darkened environment with light directed specifically at cancer cells containing the compound activating the compound’s toxicity and killing those cells. Normal cells exposed to the compound would be protected by keeping the patient in darkness until the compound has passed through and out of the patient.

The new light activated PtIV complex is also more efficient in its toxic action on cancer cells in that, unlike other compounds currently used in photodynamic therapy, it does not require the presence of significant amounts of oxygen within a cancer cell to become toxic. Cancer cells tend to have less oxygen present than normal cells.

Although this work is in its early stages, the researches are hopeful that, in a few years time, the new platinum compound could be used in a new type of photoactivated chemotherapy for cancer.”

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