A new treatment that uses laser to destroy cancer cells in the blood, has the potential to significantly suppress cancer metastasis



The cancer cells that make cancer metastasize throughout the body by getting in the bloodstream and lymph. A new treatment has been devised to destroy such cancer cells in the blood using a laser. According to the latest research paper just published, it has succeeded in destroying cancer cells by irradiating the laser from the outside of the skin.

In vivo liquid biopsy using Cytophone platform for photoacoustic detection of circulating tumor cells in patients with melanoma | Science Translational Medicine
https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/496/eaat5857


Laser Destroys Cancer Cells Circulating in the Blood-IEEE Spectrum
https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/diagnostics/laser-destroys-cancer-cells-circulating-in-the-blood

A recent research paper just published in the journal Science Translational Medicine has published a treatment that uses a laser to destroy cancer cells in the blood. This treatment has succeeded in accurately detecting 27 cancer cells out of 28 cancer patients collected as subjects, and in addition, there is a high probability when cancer cells flow in a vein. Have succeeded in destroying cancer cells in real time.

The researchers say that laser-based therapy 'allows cancer cells to be detected and destroyed before they create new tumors.' Because the laser is irradiated from the outside of the skin, it may be possible to completely destroy the cancer cells in a non-invasive manner .

'This technology has the potential to significantly suppress cancer metastasis,' said Vladimir Jarlov, director of Arkansas Nano Medical Center at the University of Arkansas, who participated in the study.


Cancer spread and metastasis account for a large proportion of cancer-related causes of death. There are two types of cancer, 'primary' and 'metastatic', and their nature as a tumor is completely different. 'Primary' cancer refers to cancer that has developed at that site, and if it occurs in the liver, for example, it becomes 'primary liver cancer'. A 'metastatic' cancer refers to a cancer that has metastasized from another site, for example, if cancer cells originating from a primary liver cancer that has developed in the liver have metastasized to produce cancer in the colon. It becomes metastatic colorectal cancer. The origin of the tumor is 'primary', and when cancer cells generated at other sites metastasize due to blood or lymph, they are called 'metastatic'.

It is possible to suppress the onset of metastatic cancer by destroying the circulating cancer cells (CTC), which is the source of metastatic cancer, before it becomes stable. In addition, it has been thought that doctors can more accurately diagnose and treat metastatic cancer if they can simply count how much CTC is present in the body.

by Drew Hays

So, Jarlov and his colleagues are gathering subjects with melanoma or skin cancer to test a system that uses a laser to destroy cancer cells. The laser irradiates the veins and delivers energy into the subject's blood. Because CTCs in melanomas absorb more energy that the laser sends into the blood than normal cells, CTCs expand rapidly when heated. This thermal expansion seems to be detectable by using an ultrasonic transducer, as it generates an acoustic wave known as the photoacoustic effect . This mechanism makes it possible to detect when CTCs are passing through the blood.

In addition, CTC can be destroyed in real time using the laser used for detection. The heat from the laser generates vapor bubbles in the CTC, and expansion and rupture of the bubbles can mechanically destroy the CTC.

The purpose of the research paper presented this time was to test the accuracy of CTC detection using a laser and an ultrasonic transducer. However, even in low-power CTC detection mode, it succeeded in destroying the CTC of 6 subjects, and 'it succeeded in destroying 96% of cancer cells in the body of one patient'. Said Jarlov. Also, Jarlov and colleagues say that they are expecting to be able to destroy CTC more effectively by using a higher power laser.

Jarlov seems to have been heating up the idea for this technology for more than 10 years, and he has been testing its safety on animals and so on. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval was required before proceeding to clinical trials, but this has also been successfully achieved, and the laser treatment system by Jarlov et al. 'S non-invasive CTC diagnostic system.

by Gerardo Barreto

It seems that there are at least 100 or more types of systems for detecting CTCs, but with conventional systems, blood has to be collected from a vein and blood has to be analyzed outside the body. Also, among conventional CTC detection systems, it seems that only the system named ' CELLSEARCH ' has received FDA approval. The system, which processes small blood samples and takes snapshots of CTCs that may be present in the blood, has not yet been widely used for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In April 2019, researchers at the University of Michigan will put on their wrists, collect blood, detect and destroy CTC in the blood, and develop a device to return the blood that has lost cancer cells back to the body. did. However, this device is still in the stage of testing in dogs, and the amount of blood that can be handled is as small as 2-3 tablespoons in 2-3 hours.

On the other hand, the system developed by Jarlov et al. Is capable of testing about 1 liter of blood in 1 hour, while having the unique feature of being non-invasive, without damaging the body. We have superiority. In addition, detection sensitivity of CTC seems to reach approximately 1000 times of CELLSEARCH.

In addition, the research team is planning to test the CTC detection and destruction system using a laser in more populations, and to investigate the effects on metastatic cancer by combining it with conventional cancer treatment methods.

in Science, Posted by logu_ii