Recently, scientists have completed a trial on a non-surgical treatment for prostate cancer based on ocean bacteria which brings complete remission for half of the patients.
The treatment involves a process known as vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy (VTP): The treatment involves injecting a light-sensitive drug into the patient’s blood. The drug is then activated using a laser which then helps in killing cancerous tissue while leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
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The treatment is done by using a drug called WST11, which is derived from bacteria that live on the ocean floor. As these bacteria survive with very little sunlight, they have the capability to convert light into energy with incredible efficiency. This property is used in developing WST11.
This research was published in The Lancet Oncology, a medical journal. In a broad clinical trial, it was found that 49% of 413 patients with early prostate cancer went into complete remission compared with 13.5% in the control group who were given no treatment.
Lead researcher Mark Emberton from University College London, said, “These results are excellent news for men with early localised prostate cancer, offering a treatment that can kill cancer without removing or destroying the prostate. This is truly a huge leap forward for prostate cancer treatment, which has previously lagged decades behind other solid cancers such as breast cancer.”