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  • Photoimmunotherapy is a new form of cancer therapy

  • involving near-infrared light.

  • Photoimmunotherapy uses an antibody to which

  • a photoabsorbing chemical is attached.

  • The antibodyphotoabsorber conjugate is injected

  • into a patient.

  • It will travel through the bloodstream and eventually

  • reach the site of the tumor.

  • The conjugate will then leak out of permeable vessels

  • near the tumor.

  • It will bind to special receptors on the surface

  • of cancer cells.

  • Once the conjugate is bound to cancer cells,

  • the photoabsorbing chemical can be specifically activated

  • by near-infrared light.

  • When the chemical has been activated,

  • it causes immediate damage to the cell membrane.

  • Water that is outside of the cell rushes into it,

  • causing the cell to swell.

  • Nearby cells without the the special receptors

  • will not be affected.

  • Increased pressure within the swollen cell causes the

  • membrane to burst, releasing intracellular contents such as

  • proteins, DNA and RNA.

  • The cell then becomes smaller and shrunken in shape,

  • a process known as necrosis.

  • After treatment, the cell necrosis causes the tumor

  • to shrink, creating spaces between the cells.

  • The tumor will die and normal tissue will regrow

  • in its place.

  • Photoimmunotherapy is a new form of cancer therapy that is

  • highly specific for cancer cells and does not damage

  • nearby normal cells.

  • It is currently in clinical trials in patients with

  • inoperable tumors.

Photoimmunotherapy is a new form of cancer therapy

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