Researchers at Oregon State University have announced a new single-agent phototherapy (light-based) approach to combating cancer, using a single chemical compound (SiNc-PNP), for both diagnosis and treatment.The compound makes cancer cells glow when exposed to near-infrared light so a surgeon can identify the cancer. The compound includes a copolymer called PEG-PCL as the biodegradable carrier. The carrier causes the silicon naphthalocyanine to accumulate selectively in cancer cells and reach a maximum level in the cells after about one day. At that point, doctors would do surgery, and then use phototherapy treatment to kill the remaining cancer cells. The compounds are naturally and completely excreted from the body.
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