World Cancer Day, Light, Laser, SCHOTT, Pharma, Health

Fighting cancer with the power of light

February 4 marks the 20th anniversary of International World Cancer Day, a global initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control to unite the world in the fight against cancer. Thanks to advances in diagnosis and therapies, more people than ever before are surviving cancer. Light plays a critical part in many of the technologies that are enabling better cancer detection and treatment.

February 4 marks the 20th anniversary of International World Cancer Day, a global initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control to unite the world in the fight against cancer. Thanks to advances in diagnosis and therapies, more people than ever before are surviving cancer. Light plays a critical part in many of the technologies that are enabling better cancer detection and treatment.

Tumors can be difficult to identify and assess visually, especially in the early stages. Thus, high-quality lighting is needed to help doctors detect the subtle changes tissue that can indicate cancer. SCHOTT’s PURAVIS® high-performance glass fibers are helping to meet this lighting need by delivering the highest quality light possible.

PURAVIS® fibers can be used to guide white light from LED light sources to the tip of endoscopes or other medical devices with almost no loss. Because of their high color neutrality and low color shift, physicians can trust they are seeing true-to-life color. The fibers also feature high mechanical stability, high flexibility, and very small bending radii, all of which help improve patient comfort and ease of use.

These fibers are also useful for delivering light for fluorescence diagnostics, which uses specific wavelengths of light to excite fluorescently labeled cancer cells. The fluorescence makes it easier for the doctor to spot cancerous cells for diagnosis or to visualize tumor borders for surgical removal.

Light, Laser, SCHOTT, Pharma, Health
Laser, SCHOTT, Pharma, Health

Precision light delivery

Light can also be used as a treatment for cancer. For example, photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a special photosensitive chemical that accumulates in cancerous tissue. When the tissue is irradiated with a specific wavelength, the sensitizer activates processes that ultimately destroy the tumor. New SCHOTT® Luminous Diffusers are bringing the very latest in glass technology to light-based cancer treatments such as PDT, helping make the treatments more efficient and easier to perform.

Light-based cancer therapies require precise light intensities over an evenly distributed area. The new diffusers scatter the focused laser beam, spreading it out in an extremely homogenous manner to make sure each cell receives the required amount of light. They use glass-based materials that incorporate unique scattering elements to deliver up to 20 watts of laser light with high light efficiency and excellent homogeneity. While many diffusers are designed to transmit visible wavelengths, these new glass-based diffusers perform particularly well at the NIR wavelengths up to 2000 nm.

With 130 years of experience in glass-processing and in transporting light through glass, SCHOTT’s light delivery technology is helping improve patients’ lives by supporting new innovations in the fight against cancer.

February 4th, 2020

Contact

Michaela Georg
Lighting & Imaging
SCHOTT AG

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