Scientists To Test Light Therapy As Relief From Painful Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment

Light therapies have existed for decades, but improvements in the technology have made the treatment more affordable for wider use, says Arany.

At a high power, light, often in the form of a laser, is used in medicine to cut or destroy tissue. But at a low level, it has the ability to relieve pain and promote healing.

The effectiveness of photobiomodulation in treating pain and stimulating healing has been documented in hundreds of clinical trials and thousands of academic papers. The treatment is used widely across Europe, Canada, Australia and several other nations. Consensus has not, however, been reached on the proper dosage for the treatment, says Arany.

Using the technology developed by MuReva Phototherapy, UB and Roswell researchers will examine the effectiveness of photobiomodulation treatments for oral mucositis, as well as determine the proper dosage to limit pain and stimulate healing in tissues damaged by cancer treatment.

“Current approaches for delivering a photobiomodulation-utilizing laser for oral mucositis require a physician to spend 30 minutes per patient, per day, and is too impractical an approach for mass adoption,” says Vedang Kothari, president and CEO of MuReva Phototherapy.

“MuReva’s innovative mouthpiece that can be self-administered, simultaneously targets a much larger portion of the oral cavity and delivers a full treatment in six minutes or less. We believe this technology has the potential to revolutionize the treatment for oral mucositis and finally present a market-ready solution to this debilitating side effect,” Kothari says.

“We are excited to partner with the University at Buffalo and esteemed clinician and professor Dr. Praveen Arany on this cutting-edge research. We believe that strong industry and academic relationships are important to advance innovative technologies to the marketplace.”

Arany, also president of the World Association for Photobiomodulation Therapy and co-chair of the committee on light therapy for supportive oncology care of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, is an advocate for wider use of photobiomodulation in the United States.

He recently took part in the first congressional briefing on photobiomodulation before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in Washington, D.C. The briefing, held Oct. 11, 2018, invited a panel of international experts on the therapy to discuss the potential of photobiomodulation to improve health care and lower dependence on opioids.

“The ability of low-dose light therapy to promote healing has been established since the 1960s,” Arany says.

“A major obstacle with its widespread use has been a lack of understanding of its precise biological mechanism. Recent work from our group has outlined both therapeutic and dose-limiting molecular pathways that are aiding development of safe and efficacious clinical protocols.”

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