Scientists Find Breakthrough Use of Light to Kill Cancer Cells
In a world-first, scientists have developed a breakthrough treatment that uses light to kill cancer cells.
We often think of light as a life-giving source, but in the case of photoimmunotherapy — the use of light to help a person’s own immune system fight cancer — light can both be a source of life, for the patient, and death, to cancer cells.
A multidisciplinary team of European scientists joined forces to design the new treatment, which works by combining a special fluorescent dye with a cancer-targeting compound.
Shining light on the compound forces cancer cells to glow in the dark, helping surgeons to remove more of the tumors compared with existing techniques.
Then, the surgeon would shine near-infrared light on the site, switching the compound into tumor-killing mode and killing off any remaining cells.
The trial of this therapy was done on mice with a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.
Findings showed that the mice had clear signs of tumor death in as little as one hour after exposure to the light. The treatment also triggered an immune response that could mount a new attack on cancer should it come back.
Study leader Dr. Gabriella Kramer-Marek told The Guardian, “Brain cancers like glioblastoma can be hard to treat, and sadly, there are too few treatment options for patients. Surgery is challenging due to the location of the tumors, and so new ways to see tumor cells to be removed during surgery and to treat residual cancer cells that remain afterward could be of great benefit.”
Scientists are quite hopeful that the results will be duplicated when they study the treatment of humans. In the meantime, this trial has shined a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
380 Trillion Viruses Live In Us; How Do We Live Symbiotically With Them?
Interest in the microbiome has been steadily increasing over the past decade or so, and for good reason. The role of our internal ecosystem (gut flora) is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our times, offering an insight into how we heal, fight off disease, and stay healthy — even in difficult times. In “Immunity and the Microbiome,” microbiologist Compton Rom presents a compelling argument for why we need to pay attention to the ecosystem of good bacteria in our digestive system.
Once we realize the great implications of how remarkable the microbiome within us can make or break our state of health, then we can boost our immunity over viruses, bacteria, and infections.
While the term “immune system” is relatively common in our daily vernacular, Rom does not limit it to the body alone. Rather, he has a holistic vision and ties the health of all life on this planet with the health of the Earth, including global warming, as well as the nature of disease-causing organisms. This holistic approach allows us to appreciate our unique role as conscious beings existing in various ecosystems that need to be recognized and respected.
Rom discusses historical evidence, showing that humans have evolved to live symbiotically with the life not just around us, but within us. This becomes particularly relevant when discussing the role of our virome, or the trillions of viruses and phages that live within our body and its cells. This he says is a major facet in maintaining proper health, by promoting symbiosis with viruses, so they don’t cause disease and illness.
We can optimize our virome and microbiome by introducing probiotic fermented and anti-inflammatory herbs, as well as a diverse diet of fruits and roots, to lower risks of infectious disease. In fact, the bacterial cells within our microbiome outnumber our human cells by tenfold.
Rom suggests our immunity from illness, as well as our relationship with the planet, begins at home. The best place to start our journey to optimum health and ideal immune function is by improving our diets, meditating, doing breathwork, exercising, and most importantly, proactively diversifying our gut microbiomes.
Compton’s philosophy is to take a non-chemical and non-pharmaceutical approach to healing, using natural herbs, and oils to eliminate pathogenic bacteria.
Our bodies, he notes, respond “best to natural compounds that have evolved alongside us for millennia. Synthetic compounds are singular in nature, while whole earth compounds carry numerous micronutrients and co-factors necessary for growth, many of which scientists have yet to discover.
This is why natural compounds are so much more effective. Modern medicine has yet to use them because they are impossible to patent; synthetics can be sold at a much higher profit than naturally derived and sustainably harvested herbs.”