New Cancer Treatment with Lasers — Photodynamic Therapy and Interstitial Hyperthermia
Lasers are sophisticated light sources that can deliver energy to living tissue with a great deal of precision. However, many of their current clinical applications, although more accurate than the available alternatives, are still relatively crude, and the effects are judged largely on the immediate visual changes alone. The real future of lasers in medicine lies in harnessing the precision available and applying it to biological systems. Inevitably, it is far more difficult to control all the factors that influence the nature and extent of laser effects in living tissue than it is in inanimate materials, but one can do considerably better than with other energy sources, such as diathermy. High-power lasers have an established role in clinical practice as, for example, the carbon dioxide laser in gynaecology and the neodymium yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG) laser for the endoscopic palliation of advanced obstructing tumours of the gastrointestinal tract and major airways .
KeywordsPhotodynamic Therapy Yttrium Aluminium Garnet Thermal Lesion Total Light Energy Interstitial Hyperthermia
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