Laser therapy can aggravate skin cancer

November 20, 2009

High irradiances of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) should not be used over melanomas. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Cancer studied the pain relieving, anti-inflammatory 'cold laser', finding that it caused increased tumour growth in a mouse model of skin cancer.

Jan M. Bjordal from Bergen University College, Norway worked with a team of Brazilian researchers to carry out the in vitro and in vivo experiments. He said, "LLLT has gained increasing popularity as a treatment for soft tissue injuries and joint conditions. However, there is a shortage of evidence, especially in vivo evidence, about the effects of LLLT in malignant conditions such as ".

Bjordal and his colleagues applied LLLT to cultures and to mice injected with melanoma cells. Although the treatment did not cause any significant changes in the cell cultures, direct irradiation of the tumor with high-dose LLLT caused a significant increase in tumor mass volume and considerable histological alterations, indicating a worsening of the cancer, in the mice. The researchers write, "A high irradiance (2.5W/cm2) combined with high dose of 1050 J/cm2, can stimulate melanoma with distinct histological features in vivo".

"It is important that this contraindication is implemented into clinical practice so that LLLT can remain a safe treatment", says Bjordal.

LLLT was pioneered in the 1970s, when it was discovered that light from low-intensity lasers causes cells to proliferate more rapidly. It is marketed as a treatment for hair-loss, pain management, sports medicine and skin care - among many other things. Home-treatment sets are available online for unsupervised use.

More information: The effect of low-level laser irradiation (Ga-Al-AsP - 660nm) on in vitro and in vivo melanoma, Lucio Frigo, Juliana SS Luppi, Giovani M Favero, Durvanei A Maria, Socrates C Penna, Jan M Bjordal, Rene J Bensadoun and Rodrigo Alvaro Lopes Martins, BMC Cancer (in press),

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: HSP90: New point of view on melanoma of the eye

Related Stories

HSP90: New point of view on melanoma of the eye

February 19, 2008

Ocular melanoma is rarely detected before it has grown large enough to impair vision or to metastasize. This makes it a particularly challenging disease to fight, especially since chemotherapy is not very effective.

New combination therapy safe, promising for melanoma patients

June 1, 2008

The combination of two different biotherapies may be beneficial for patients with inoperable melanoma, according to a University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) study presented at the 44th annual meeting of the American ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Nov 21, 2009
They used 500X higher dose than normal Low Level Laser Therapy. 1,000 Joules/ sq cm instead of 2.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.