Photodynamic Therapy (IV laser)
What is PDT?
An exciting and revolutionary new treatment for cancers and many other diseases which involves the use of a special dye called a photosensitizer (or photosensitizing agent) and a special type of light. When the photosensitizer is exposed to the right wavelength of light, it produces a form of oxygen that kills the nearby cancer cells. At Ruckersville Animal Hospital, we use three different dyes that are each activated by a specific wavelength of light, and perform different functions in the body and all of this is done with very minimal (if any) side effects.
What Does the Treatment Involve?
An intravenous (IV) catheter is placed, and the patient is placed on IV fluids. The photosensitizing (PS) dye is then injected into the bloodstream via the IV catheter. The PS dye is given approximately 4 hours to be absorbed--the dye is absorbed by ALL of the cells in the body, but stays in cancer cells much longer than it does in normal, healthy cells. After the 4-hour mark, a special fiber-optic catheter is placed inside the IV catheter to administer the needed wavelength of light. The PS dye in the tumor is activated and produces a free-radical active form of oxygen that not only kills the nearby cancer cells but it also damages the tumor's blood vessels, cutting off its supply of nutrients and stimulates the immune system to attack the cancer cell. The PS dye and fiber-optic catheter can be placed directly into a tumor to improve the chances of killing more cancer cells, especially with large tumor. The patient may or may not be lightly sedated for the procedure; it all depends on how well they tolerate being hospitalized and having an IV catheter.
What is IV Laser Therapy?