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Chlorophyll Fights Cancer
before March 9, 2006


One can hardly avoid chemotherapy while treating cancer. Modern medicine has wide range of antitumor drugs, but unfortunately they kill both cancer and ordinary cells. Thus chemotherapy has serious complications. Health professionals are searching for an agent killing tumor cells only, but still their efforts are fruitless. The scientists from Moscow Lomonosov State Academy of Fine Chemical Technology under the supervision of professor Mironov have made another step in this direction. They have synthesized two new chlorophyll-based substances, which can be used for cancer photodynamic therapy.

Cancer photodynamic therapy is not a novel way of fighting cancer – it is known for about 20 years. The therapy is based on the ability of some certain chemical compounds (porphyrins, for example) to accumulate only in cancer cells. These chemical compounds are almost harmless per se, but when a tumor is exposed to light with specific wavelength, they become active and destroy cancer cells. Porphyrins, containing sugar fragments (glycoporphyrins) are promising agents for cancer photodynamic therapy. They are water-soluble thus, after the treatment is over, can be easily withdrawn and never accumulate in an organism.

Glycoporphyrins are artificially synthesized. But their synthesis can be based upon natural substances, first of all wide known chlorophyll. Its maximum light absorption lies in the red spectral region – 650-700 nm. Radiation of this wavelength penetrates deeply into tissues and allows eliminating most deep-lying tumors. The fact that chlorophyll is an available material is of no less importance. The authors have extracted chlorophyll from Spirulina algae, which is easily grown in commercial quantities. Besides that, chlorophyll molecule is easy to change, thus convenient to work with.

The main advantage of these substances is their accumulation in cancer cells, thus during tumor irradiation photochemical processes occur only in cancer cells leading to their death skipping neighbouring healthy ones. And chlorophyll derivatives are harmless to cell in the dark. Thus new generation of anticancer drugs won’t cause such complications as angiostaxis, immunosuppression and other side effects common for traditional chemotherapy.

Tags: Russian Scientists Russian medicine    

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