East Clinic, in Killaloe, Ireland developed a new treatment program using what they call Cytoluminescent Therapy (CLT). CLT is an advanced form of photodynamic therapy which uses light to fight cancer. Patients are pre-treated with a drug called a sensitizer, and are then administered light of a certain wavelength, their cancer cells will die by the millions. This is because the energy of the beam of light sets off a "bomb" within the cell. The "bomb" in this case is singlet oxygen, a kind of free radical. This process does not harm normal cells because the sensitizing drug accumulates only in cancer and other abnormal tissues.
As of December 2002, East Clinic no longer offers this therapy. It is reportedly available at other clinics in the area. CLT is now available at a Clinic at Ballina, Co. Tipperary, which is just across the river from Killaloe, Co. Clare. Any information can be obtained from their website at www.clttherapy.com or by telephoning (office hours)+353-61-375815 or fax to +353-61-374910 or emailing Mary Gaughan at email@example.com.
Reports regarding this treatment indicate that tumors may quickly start to die, in a process called "necrosis." In fact, in patients treated with CLT, doctors may have to slow down the cell-killing process to give the body time to detoxify so many dead cancer cells. Frequently, patients undergoing CLT obtain relief of pain and discomfort. Too-thin patients may gain weight.
Some patients feel the treatment is responsible for tumor shrinkages and improved quality of life, while others report distressing symptoms, such as flu-like fatigue, persistent coughs, and inflammation or necrosis around known or suspected sites of tumor. This has sometimes been accompanied by significant pain. Proponents of CLT feel that these "after effects"
result from the destruction of cancer or the toxic buildup of dead cancer cells in a patient after treatment, particularly in those patients who had a large "tumor load" or widespread or advanced disease. If this interpretation is correct, it would suggest the need for debulking of large tumors prior to treatment as well as a closely monitored detoxification treatment program afterwards.
Prospective CLT patients must understand that the treatment is new and experimental and that, by definition, an experimental treatment's potential risks and benefits are less predictable and understood than those of more established therapies.