Laser Applications in Bio-Medicine: Tumor Therapy and Localization Using Photosensitizing Drugs

  • R. Cubeddu
  • R. Ramponi
  • C. A. Sacchi
  • O. Svelto
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 35)


Among the various applications of lasers in Biomedicine, a particularly interesting one makes use of a laser beam and photosensitizing drugs, for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. Out of the several possibilities offered by this combination of laser light and drugs, we shall consider in this paper only the case of tumor therapy and tumor localization. The basic principles of these applications rely on the fact that a wide class of drugs present a high accumulation or retention in a tumor, or in a highly proliferative tissue, as compared with the surrounding normal tissue. For therapy the drug must also be able to induce a cytocidal reaction when activated by (laser) light of suitable wavelength. On the other side, for localization, when bound to the tissue, the drug must exhibit a reasonably high fluorescence quantum yield so that its emission can be detected by a suitable system. Thus it may happen that a drug suitable for tumor therapy is not suitable for tumor localization. In both these cases, however, two further conditions must be fulfilled:
  1. (i)

    - the drug must be nontoxic (in the dark) and non-mutagenic;

  2. (ii)

    - the drug must absorb and emit at wavelengths that can permit a reasonably good penetration into the tissues.



Photodynamic Therapy Distillation Column Tumor Therapy Excited Singlet State Copper Vapour Laser 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Cubeddu
    • 1
  • R. Ramponi
    • 1
  • C. A. Sacchi
    • 1
  • O. Svelto
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro di Elettronica Quantistica e Strumentazione Elettronica, CNRIstituto di Fisica del PolitecnicoMilanoItaly

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