Clearing throats

Sunday 31 March 1996

The standard practice of removing small throat tumours using laser is ineffective against the larger ones, so a new procedure using a special drug and light rays can reduce the suffering of patients, if not cure them.

The drug called photofrin - manufactured by QLT Phototherapeutics Incorporated of Vancouver in Canada -helped in clearing large tumours in the throats of half the patients it was tried on. Photofrin makes the tumour light- sensitive and the beams of light that follow, kill the cancer cells.

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