73-year-old cancer patient was too weak for chemotherapy new light therapy saved them

Thanks to a relatively new method, Doctors were able to liberate in Stuttgart, a woman of a malignant Tumor. The 73-Year-old suffered from a cancer in the bile duct. The Physicians of the Robert Koch hospital had for the first time, successfully used laser light against cancer cells.

The family doctor had referred Margarete Kübler (Name changed) to the hospital: suspected gallstones. The Stuttgart-based Robert-Koch-hospital, the Doctors discovered a malignant Tumor in the bile duct – so great that he disabled the undisturbed flow of bile.

Because he had already spread along the biliary tract far into both sides of the liver, were not able to remove the Doctors the Tumor surgically. For an energy-sapping chemotherapy, the 73-year-old patient was too weak. The Doctors put their hope, therefore, that the so-called photo dynamic therapy. Here, the laser light destroys the tumor cells.

“With photodynamic therapy we apply to the patient first, a so-called Photosensitizer, via the vein,” explains Jörg Albert, chief physician of the Department for gastroenterology, Hepatology and endocrinology. “The substance is actually ineffective, the cells in the body, however, is extremely light sensitive.”

Here is the Newsletter of ‘health’ subscribe

Reports, Videos, backgrounds: From Monday to Friday, provided you FOCUS Online with the most important messages from the health Department. Here you can subscribe to the Newsletter easily and free of charge.

Laser light cells to burn like a sun burn

In the second step, the tumor cells are irradiated in an endoscopic procedure with laser light in a low wavelength. The method works like a sun burn. Cancer cells burn up and die. A great advantage of the treatment: Doctors can selectively irradiate diseased cells and destroy them. “Thus, the photodynamic therapy is much gentler than chemotherapy, which destroys healthy cells,” emphasizes Albert.

After one and a half hours Margarete Kübler had survived the surgery. Since the skin cells of the patient were become by the surgery sensitive to light, she had to protect for two weeks in a darkened room in front of the sun. “I feel very good,” says the patient, according to a press release from the clinic after the OP. “During the procedure I only get a light sleep. And because the therapy caused no pain, I was able to get up a short time later.“

The photodynamic therapy has been approved for some months in Germany so far for bile duct cancer and lung field of cancer.