Tag Archives: tumor

New Applications for Cold Laser Therapy

Almost every day, there are new and exciting announcements on ways that low level laser therapy can help keep us and our animals healthy.  The following is from Valerie C. Coffey, Science Writer:

It started with mouse hairs. In 1967, Dr. Endre Mester of Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest, Hungary, recognized that a low-power ruby laser could stimulate faster hair regrowth in mice. Since then, lasers have increasingly become an important instrument in the physician’s toolbox. 

Today, research is advancing toward the use of lasers to diagnose and treat a plethora of conditions. Recent rapid technological developments in lasers have contributed to their safe and effective use in surgical settings, aesthetic treatments, ophthalmology, oncology, cardiology and many other biomedical applications, including veterinary settings. 

Lasers’ efficiency, safety and precision are the drivers behind this growth. In surgical applications, medical lasers are more precise than conventional surgical scalpels, and therefore cause less damage to surrounding tissue. Although systems are expensive and operators of medical lasers require special training, the advantages of reduced pain, bleeding, swelling and scarring are compelling enough to justify their widespread adoption. 

Much current cutting-edge research is focused on biophysical and physiological studies at the molecular and cellular level, and on lasers’ effects on whole organisms. A group at the University of Texas at Arlington, led by assistant professor of physics Dr. Samarendra Mohanty, has used low-power near-IR lasers and crystalline magnetic carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) to perform photothermal delivery of impermeable dyes and plasmids (self-replicating DNA molecules) into live human prostate cancer (PC3) cells (Scientific Reports, doi: 10.1038/srep05106). The noninvasive technique involves directing a CW Ti:sapphire laser at 800 nm toward the cancer cells in the presence of plasmids and CNPs measuring 5-10 nm. The heat causes the CNPs to stretch the cell membranes and increase fluid flow to allow exogenous substances (plasmids, for example, or an agent that kills the cancer) to be delivered.

Laser therapy is one of several emerging medical and veterinary techniques using high-intensity light to stimulate cellular function in tissue, or to shrink and destroy tumors and precancerous growths. Doctors can direct laser therapy on the surface of a body, or use it to reach where conventional surgical techniques can’t, via a flexible fiber optic endoscope inserted through the mouth, nose, colon or vagina.

Photodynamic therapy is another laser therapy approach that activates an applied photosensitive agent that kills only the cancer cells.

Recent medical research theorizes that the mechanism of low-level laser therapy is primarily via the absorption of light within mitochondria, the numerous “power plants” within cells that convert the oxygen and pyruvate from food into cellular energy via adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As it happens, cytochrome C oxidase, a critical protein involved in the regulation of mitochondrial activity, is a photoacceptor of light in the near- to far-IR. At the cellular level, LLLT displaces nitric oxide from the respiratory chain to increase levels of ATP and reactive oxygen species. The deep-tissue application of laser or LED devices in LLLT techniques may work via this mitochondrial mechanism to promote tissue repair, reduce inflammation and induce analgesia, according to James Carroll, medical researcher, and founder and CEO of Thor Photomedicine in Chesham, England

In 2012, researchers at the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London applied LLLT to eye disease. Researcher Dr. Rana Begum and colleagues found that when the retinas of aged mice were exposed to five 90-s exposures of 670-nm light over 35 hours, key inflammatory markers in the mitochondrial membrane were significantly reduced (Neurobiology of Aging).  The hope is that, someday, the noninvasive approach may help to slow the progression of dry age-related macular degeneration, according to founder and CEO Clark Tedford.

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Natural Penicillin

During World War ll, before penicillin became widely available, Russian medics applied raw garlic to the infected wounds of their soldiers. The English military began referring to garlic as “Russian penicillin.” As recently as 2009, the war department in Moldova, a small country in eastern Europe, issued a daily ration of one onion and several cloves of garlic to each member of its army to protect them from the flu.

All these uses and more are now backed by medical science. One milligram of allicin, the main active ingredient in garlic, is equivalent to 15 international units of penicillin. Each garlic clove has from 7 to 13 mg. of allicin, so 3 cloves contain the same antibacterial activity as a standard dose of penicillin.

In one important respect, garlic has the edge on penicillin. Common bacteria are 1,000 times more likely to become resistant to modern antibiotics than to garlic. Garlic appears to satisfy all of the criteria for antibacterial agents, and it is cheap and safe, with no toxic side effects.

Eating more garlic may be one of the best natural remedies against cancer. According to a Canadian study: “Garlic was by far the strongest inhibitor of tumor cell growth. Garlic blocked 100% of the growth of human cancers of the stomach, pancreas, breast, prostate, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

From Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

Better Treatment for Horses and Humans with Turmeric

Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today.  Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies.  In fact, a five-year long research project on this  plant has revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects.

Here are a few of the drugs that turmeric (with no side effects) can replace:

  • Lipitor/Atorvastatin(cholesterol medication): A 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D found that a standardized preparation of curcuminoids from Turmeric compared favorably to the drug atorvastatin (trade name Lipitor) on endothelial dysfunction, the underlying pathology of the blood vessels that drives atherosclerosis, in association with reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetic patients.
  • Corticosteroids (steroid medications): A 1999 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that the primary polyphenol in turmeric, the saffron colored pigment known as curcumin, compared favorably to steroids in the management of chronic anterior uveitis, an inflammatory eye disease. A 2008 study published in Critical Care Medicine found that curcumin compared favorably to the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone in the animal model as an alternative therapy for protecting lung transplantation-associated injury by down-regulating inflammatory genes. An earlier 2003 study published in Cancer Letters found the same drug also compared favorably to dexamethasone in a lung ischaemia-repurfusion injury model.
  • Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine  (antidepressants): A 2011 study published in the journal Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica found that curcumin compared favorably to both drugs in reducing depressive behavior in an animal model.
  • Aspirin (blood thinner): A 1986 in vitro and ex vivo study published in the journalArzneimittelforschung found that curcumin has anti-platelet and prostacyclin modulating effects compared to aspirin, indicating it may have value in patients prone to vascular thrombosis and requiring anti-arthritis therapy.
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs: A 2004 study published in the journal Oncogene found that curcumin (as well as resveratrol) were effective alternatives to the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, phenylbutazone, naproxen, indomethacin, diclofenac, dexamethasone, celecoxib, and tamoxifen in exerting anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activity against tumor cells.
  • Oxaliplatin (chemotherapy drug): A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that curcumin compares favorably with oxaliplatin as an antiproliferative agenet in colorectal cell lines.
  • Metformin (diabetes drug): A 2009 study published in the journal Biochemitry and Biophysical Research Community explored how curcumin might be valuable in treating diabetes, finding that it activates AMPK (which increases glucose uptake) and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression  (which suppresses glucose production in the liver) in hepatoma cells. Interestingly, they found curcumin to be 500 times to 100,000 times (in the form known as tetrahydrocurcuminoids(THC)) more potent than metformin in activating AMPK and its downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase.
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