Ultra-violet (UV) light therapy could be used to destroy tumours, reported three newspapers (30 October, 2007). The articles are based on a laboratory study involving mice engineered to have ovarian cancer. These findings cannot be applied to people at present.
Ultra-violet (UV) light therapy could be used to destroy tumours, reported three newspapers (30 October, 2007) (1-3). Two newspapers (1,3) reported that UV light treatment eliminated ovarian cancers in five out of six mice, and greatly reduced the tumour size in the sixth mouse.
The newspaper reports were based on the findings of a study published online in the journal ChemMedChem (4,5). The study was carried out on laboratory mice with ovarian cancer to determine the efficacy of a new technology developed by the Newcastle research team which uses UV light to activate antibodies which specifically attack tumours. UV therapy (photocleavable 2-nitrophenylethanol (NPE) coated 145-2C11 antibody irradiated in vivo) was found to eliminate ovarian tumour in five out of six mice and greatly reduce the size of the tumour in the sixth mouse.
The newspaper reports, largely based on the press release (6), accurately outlined the nature of the research and stated that it was based on animal research. The research team plan to undertake clinical trials in on patients with secondary skin cancers in the future. Given the early stage of the research, it should be many years before a treatment is actually available.
Information staff at CRD searched for systematic reviews relevant to this topic. Systematic reviews are valuable sources of evidence as they locate, appraise and synthesize all available evidence on a particular topic.
There were no related systematic reviews identified on the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) or on the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE).
References and resources
1. How ultraviolet light can turn the heat on cancers. Daily Mail, 30 October 2007, p9.
2. 'Magic bullet' devised to beat cancer. The Times, 30 October 2007, p8.
3. New therapy targets cancers, not healthy tissues. The Guardian, 30 October 2007, p5.
4. Thompson S, Stewart R, Smith JA, Self CH. Light activation of Anti-CD3 in vivo reduces the growth of an aggressive ovarian carcinoma. ChemMedChem 2007;2:1591-3. DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.200700116
5. Self CH, Self AC, Smith JA, Self DJ, Thompson S. Light-directed activation of human T-cells. ChemMedChem 2007;2:1587-90. DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.200700200
4. Newcastle University. UV light improving chances of fighting cancer. Press Release, 30 October 2007.