Light turns on anticancer agents


Blacksburg, Va., Aug. 24, 2004 In order to not harm innocent tissue while aggressively treating diseases such as cancer with powerful medicine, scientists have been creating therapy agents that they can activate with light only at the site of a tumor.

Until now, almost all photodynamic therapy agents have required oxygen. Yet, tumors are often oxygen depleted. Now, Virginia Tech researchers have developed light-activated therapy agents that are oxygen independent.

The research will be presented at the 228th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Philadelphia August 22-26, 2004

Karen Brewer's chemistry-biology group is working with cell cultures to compare the effectiveness of the agents in the dark and in visible light. "Another improvement for our systems is that the agents are activated by visible light, as opposed to UV light," said Brewer, associate professor of chemistry. "Using only visible light is a safeguard against inadvertent damage of tissue."

Brewer will present the talk, " Light induced DNA cleavage and photodynamic therapy properties of MMCT states of rhodium centered supramolecular complexes," at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24, at Pennsylvania Convention Center room 111B as part of the at the Bioinorganic Chemistry symposium. Co-authors are Brewer, former post-doctoral associate Alvin A. Holder, graduate students Mark Elvington of Blacksburg and R. Lee Williams of Virginia Beach, and undergraduate Jerita Dubash of Ashburn, Va., all with Virginia Tech's chemistry department, and Virginia Tech biology professor Brenda S.J. Winkel.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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