Health In Focus
  • Cancer treatments triggered with infrared light will show no or reduced harmful side effects, according to research teams from the University of Warwick and Monash University.
  • Platinum-based cancer drugs are inactive in the dark, kill targeted cancer cells when activated by light and show minimal harm to healthy tissues.
  • Unique anti-cancer therapy with an advantage of selective and effective therapy replaces the traditional cancer therapies.

Platinum-based chemotherapy drug candidate trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(py)2] study conducted by the Monash Warwick Alliance represented by various research groups from the University of Warwick and Monash University pioneered a new treatment option by triggering the cancer drug with infrared light. The resistance shown by the current cancer treatments make this light-activation cancer therapy, a turning point in the field of chemotherapy.

New Treatment Approach to Treat Cancer

Cancer drugs activated by infrared light offer new insight into the treatment of cancer patients. Inorganic metal compounds remain inactive and completely non-toxic in the dark can be triggered by an old spectroscopic technique called infrared spectroscopy. Infrared light activated platinum-based chemotherapy drug results in the degradation of the platinum compound which then releases the ligand molecules that target the cancer cells. However, the healthy cells are not harmed in this treatment procedure which is considered to be a milestone in the research study.
Cancer Treatments With No Severe Side Effects - A Future Reality

The photoactive chemotherapy compound trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(py)2] currently in the laboratory level of study requires further research and should undergo various clinical studies to prove its therapeutic activity before it is being marketed for treating cancer.

Cisplatin is the most commonly used platinum-based drug in patients undergoing chemotherapy. The currently used chemotherapy drugs have serious side effects and have toxic or lethal effects both on cancerous cells as well as healthy tissues. The resistance to chemotherapy drugs also demands the discovery of the new treatment procedure in treating cancer by several novel approaches.

If light activated future cancer drugs treat resistant cancers, that would be another major advantage which would eventually reduce the burden of the patients and improve the quality of life.

Side Effects of Cancer Chemotherapy

  • Hair loss
  • Blood disorders such as neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness of hands or legs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Mouth and throat sores or stomatitis
  • Dry mouth
  • Alteration in the sense of taste
  • Affects fertility
  • Toxicity of kidney, liver, and heart

Tips to Help Cancer Patients while Undergoing Chemotherapy

  • Take medicines exactly as advised by the physician and do not skip the dose
  • Drink sufficient quantity of water and stay hydrated
  • Consult a dietitian for nutritional support
  • Eat dry foods such as crackers to prevent nausea and vomiting
  • Take fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation and drink electrolyte solutions in case of diarrhea
  • Using sanitizers, staying away from crowds, and wearing protective masks are advised to avoid infection due to poor immune system
  • Sleep well and exercise regularly to avoid weakness or tiredness
  • Join a support network for emotional support
  • Do not hesitate to talk with the oncologist about the medicines you are prescribed.
References :
  1. Nutritional Tips During Chemotherapy - (
  2. 10 Tips to Help You Through Chemotherapy - (

Source: Medindia

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