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Shining a light to kill cancer: unique treatment offers hope for patients

August 09, 2018

Source: ABC 15 Phoenix
Author: Sonu Wasu
Published: August 09, 2018

Sharad Chandrika, MD, Medical Director of Cardiopulmonary, Pulmonologist & Intensivist, Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) becomes the first physician in Arizona to use photodynamic therapy (PDT) to clear a patient's airway when a tumor is blocking it. This procedure can improve a patient's breathing, coughing, risk of pneumonia and overall quality of life while they continue traditional cancer treatment.

"The treatment which has been around for decades, but not used very much works by injecting a chemical known as Porfimer into your body. This chemical is extremely photosensitive and reacts to light.  Dr. Chandrika said the chemical was readily absorbed by cancer cells, making them extremely sensitive to light. 

'The treatment is now making a resurgence,' said Dr. Chandrika."

Watch the full story on how PDT works, and hear from the first patient in Arizona to undergo the procedure.