Physicists at St Andrews University have developed methods of using white light to fight cancer. The idea goes that the light could carry drugs deeper into the tissue allowing the drugs to be place into groups of cells painlessly and instantaneously. And the light could also act as microscopic ‘tweezers’ to move cancer cells around the body and isolate them so that they can be treated. The researchers have already been able to remove chromosomes from a cell. Over Easter I was fortunate enough to meet some of the researchers at St Andrews responsible for this finding and they were telling me how this could, slowly, become a huge tool to fighting cancer.
Research is also being done like this in the US where researches are using light to activate drugs that will then stick to cancerous cells. But the drugs only seem to respond to certain wavelengths of light. At the National Cancer Institute, Maryland, they have used an antibody which targets the proteins of cancerous cells. This antibody has the chemical IR700, which is then activated by Infrared light. Infrared is particularly useful as it can quite easily penetrate several centimetres of tissue.