Posts tagged: PDT

PDT Cancer Case Study #1: Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cured In 6 Weeks

This is a case study by Dr. Merrill Biel of a 69 year old male presenting with a history of right mouth soreness for the past six months. This patient has no history of sore throat, dysphagia, hemoptysis or shortness of breath. He is a smoker (2 ppd for the past 50 years) and drinks two alcoholic beverages per day.

During his mouth examination, irregular cobblestoned mucosa of the entire right floor of the mouth was found (Figure 1). There were three areas each 1 cm in diameter of invasive firm nodules. Biopsies were then obtained and it was determined that the patient had invasive squamous cell carcinoma.  He was staged as a T3N0 superficial squamous cell cancer of the right floor of mouth and ventral tongue.

Left (Figure 1): Patient presents with squamous cell cancer of entire right floor of mouth and ventral tongue. Right (Figure 2): Six weeks post- PDT Treatment, area of tumor healed with normal mobile mucosa and without scar tissue

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Ondine’s Latest Hire: Leonie Markhorst, Communications Extraordinaire

It is with great pleasure that we add Leonie Markhorst to the Ondine family. As our new Marketing Coordinator, Leonie is responsible for managing the projects and internal communications that will help bring Ondine’s technology to even more patients and healthcare providers.

A Dutch native, Leonie graduated from Utrecht University with a Bachelors degree in Communications. At age 19, she founded a successful online jewellery business before beginning her career as an Internal Communications Specialist for a large global organization. There, she was responsible for the operational tasks within her department, managed corporate events for up to 1,500 attendees, and acted as an advisor to line management. In 2011, she moved from the Netherlands to Vancouver to pursue bigger opportunities.

In her spare time, Leonie enjoys fashion, interior design and dance. She is fluent in three languages and is a contributing editor for a renowned online fashion magazine. The Ondine team is extremely pleased to have Leonie join us, and we cannot wait to get her started on some very exciting projects!

Photodynamic Therapy Saves Boy Given Six Months To Live

Connah Broom is a very luck young man. Diagnosed at the age of four with stage 4 neuroblastoma, Connah was given six months to live. Eleven tumours had developed on his neck, stomach, legs, and areas near his heart. Seven months of chemotherapy failed to improve his condition and surgery was no longer an option as the tumours were located too close to vital organs. That was when Connah’s family learned that he had only a few more months to live. According to Debbie Broom, Connah’s mother, “A doctor told us to take Connah home and enjoy our remaining time with him.”

The family then turned to photodynamic therapy (PDT), a treatment proven to be effective in killing cancer. Connah’s treatment consisted of taking a pill containing a photosensitizing agent and then activating this agent with light. A powerful reaction was then initiated, which killed the cancerous cells while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue. Amazingly, after ten months of PDT  treatment, ten of Connah’s eleven tumours have now disappeared. “This is the one miracle in my entire career,” said Connah’s GP, Dr. Eamon Jessop, “He’s doing incredible well, it’s staggering.” To hear Connah’s story, please watch the video below:

Connah from Matt Hunt on Vimeo.

Ondine CEO, Carolyn Cross, Survives Plane Crash: “I Am More Dedicated To PDT Than Ever”

Update: Carolyn would like to thank everyone for their well wishes. She is currently at home recovering from knee surgery and we expect her to make a full recovery soon. Please send donations to the family of the pilot, Luc Fortin, to support his 16-month old daughter –

Miracles really do happen. On Thursday October 27th, Carolyn Cross (our CEO, Chairman, and dear friend) survived a deadly plane crash. On a chartered flight headed to Kelowna, Carolyn knew something wasn’t right when the pilot told passengers there was an oil leak and they were returning to the airport. “I looked at his hands and they were shaking, trembling,” Carolyn said in an interview from her hospital bed, “At that moment I knew we were going to die.” Carolyn then calmly took out her phone and began typing out farewell messages to her three young kids, “Something that they would remember me by, that I could have peace that I had said my goodbyes.”

Seconds later, Carolyn’s plane crashed on a busy road about 900 meters short of the runway. “We crashed and I immediately looked outside because I was at a door window and it was full of flames outside. So I couldn’t go out. It smelled full of gasoline….I went to get up and I could not walk. It was as if I had no legs, as if they were blown off. And I thought of my children, and God and the universe gave me the energy and I got up to the door. I said I don’t know what I am going to do now because I can’t get out of the plane, my legs, I can’t get out of the plane.”

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Photodynamic Therapy– Is Selective Damage Really that Selective?

Why doesn’t photodynamic therapy (PDT) cause any noticeable damage to human tissue? After all, the reaction causes damage to the bacterial membrane, and human cells have membranes as well.

This was a topic that really grabbed my attention when I first learned about photodynamic therapy.   How is it possible that with the creation of highly reactive molecules are we only limiting cellular destruction to bacterial cells? Although there may be a few different answers to this question, the primary solution is that we are not. Don’t be afraid and swear off photodynamic therapy right away, here me out first. Photodynamic therapy is primarily used as a treatment option for cancers. This treatment is used on cancerous tumours formed in esophageal cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, as well as many different types. The photosensitizer is accumulated in the tumour either by direct injection or utilizing mutations of the cancerous cells that concentrate the photosensitizer inside the cell. After light is applied, the tumour cells are damaged, but the healthy cells are not greatly harmed. Why? One trait of a cancerous growth is the mutation of certain DNA repair enzymes. (Have a look at this Wikipedia article to give you a small background on DNA repair enzymes) These repair enzymes are responsible for fixing oxidative damage problems caused by free radicals. Scientific researchers, knowing this small fact about most cancerous tumour cells, use PDT and reactive oxygen species to their advantage. A healthy human cell can take some free radical “abuse”, but a tumour cell can only take so much until the cell dies. This fact, coupled with selective photosensitizer accumulation within tumour cells, makes PDT an excellent treatment option in some forms of cancer.

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Photodynamic Disinfection (PDD) is the Antimicrobial application of PDT (aPDT)

The key features of aPDT can be summarized as follows [1]:

  • Broad spectrum of action, since one photosensitizer can act on bacteria, fungi, yeasts and parasitic protozoa
  • Efficacy independent of the resistance pattern of the given microbe
  • Extensive reduction of pathogen counts in minutes, without damaging host cells
  • No selection of resistant strains after multiple treatments
  • Readily available, non-toxic photosensitizers
  • Relatively low-cost light sources for activation of the photosensitizing agent
  • No cytotoxic effects on key sensitive host cells such as human keratinocytes or fibroblasts

The treatment of topical infections has traditionally relied upon antibiotics in either topical or systemic dosage forms. However, the inexorable increase in antibiotic resistance (including to vancomycin and other glycopeptides) has led to the spectre of potentially untreatable infections, and this in turn has led to the development of alternative antimicrobial approaches based on light-activated chemotherapy 2, 3. Photodynamic Disinfection (called antimicrobial PDT by the scientific community) is an extension to traditional photodynamic therapy (PDT) which was originally focused on oncotherapy and intra-ocular indications, utilizing systemically-administered photosensitizers. Read more »

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