Posts Tagged ‘laser therapy’

Laser therapy and Cancer…..What’s the Latest on its Use and Safety?

July 25, 2019

There is a lot of confusion about how laser therapy, and its mechanism of action, photobiomodulation, interacts with cancerous lesions and tumor growth. While multiple studies over the years provide evidence that laser therapy can be a benefit in relieving symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatments, such as in the case of oral mucositis (Bjordal, Bensadoun, et al) and lymphedema (Baxter, Liu, et al), does it increase or decrease the proliferation of the cancerous cells themselves? The answer to that question is obviously critical if there is to be any advancement of laser therapy as a treatment for cancer.

This month, a systematic review paper was published in the journal Lasers in Medical Science, covering a broad array of wavelengths and power levels. The paper looked at 19 studies in total, and presented those results based on evidence of proliferation of cancerous cells, or inhibition. (da Silva, Silva de Oliveira, et al)

Somewhat unsurprisingly, each variation in wavelength and power density of laser energy led to different results. For example, with infrared wavelengths (>750mW, most commonly used in laser therapy), four studies showed a decrease in cell proliferation of cancerous tissue, while three others showed an increase. So yes, the good news is that laser therapy can decrease the cell proliferation of cancerous lesions, but it depends greatly on the specific parameters used. Get the parameters wrong and you may in fact do the opposite, and stimulate the growth of cancerous cells/tissues.
In 2018, one study that looked at laser therapy’s effects on squamous cell carcinoma showed proliferation of the cancerous cells in a dose dependent manner (Bamps, Dok, et al). Another 2018 paper showed proliferation of isolated osteosarcoma and carcninoma cells with a defined dose, power and wavelength of laser therapy, showing the increase tracking along with increased applications of laser (Kara, Selamet, et al). These results mean we must use caution in choosing whether to use laser therapy when treating cancer patients, for any reason.

The papers reviewed in the above referenced systematic review paper do hint at exciting possibilities that are worth noting. In the search for a therapy for malignant glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer, Murayama used 808nm infrared (the same wavelength used with Respond Systems’ lasers) and measured the effect on markers that indicate proliferation of cancerous cells. The researchers reported a decrease in the number of calcein-AM-positive cells, suggesting that the laser stimulated a decrease in cancer cell proliferation (Murayama, H. et al).

So what does the future hold as it relates to laser therapy and cancer?

Despite how eager we might be to jump ahead with the idea that laser therapy can assist cancer patients, for now we need to stick to the specifics of what we know from the research. Caution should be the rule when using laser therapy with cancer patients, at least and until more studies are performed that give a clearer view.

And then there is the path of researching the potential protective or immune defense capabilities laser therapy may provide in deterring the formation of cancerous cells in the first place.
The future holds much promise and there will be much more to come as the research continues!

Bjordal, J.M., R.J. Bensadoun, J. Tuner, L. Frigo, K. Gjerde and R.A. Lopes-Martins. “A systematic review with meta-analysis of the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in cancer therapy-induced oral musositis.” Support Care Cancer 19.8(2011): 1069-1077. Online.

Baxter, G.D., Liu, L., Tumilty, S., Petrich, S., Chapple, C. and J.J. Anders. Low level laser therapy for the management of breast cancer related lymphedema: A randomized controlled feasibility study.” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 50:9 (2018): 924-934. Online.

Da Silva, J.L., A.F.S. Silva De Oliviera, R.A.C. Andraus and L.P. Maia. “Effects of low level laser therapy in cancer cells- a systematic review of the literature.” Lasers in Medical Science June 17 (2019): Online ahead of print.

Bamps, Marieke, Ruveyda Dok and Sandra Nuyts. “Low-Level Laser Therapy Stimulates Proliferation in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells.” Frontiers in Oncology 8.343 (2018). Online.

Kara, C., H. Selamet, C. Gokmenoglu, and N. Kara. “Low level laser therapy induces increased viability and proliferation in isolated cancer cells.” Cell Proliferation 51.2 (2018): 12417. Online.

Murayama, H., K. Sadakane, B. Yamanoha, and S. Kogure. “Low power 808-nm laser irradiation inhibits cell proliferation of a human derived glioblastoma cell line in vitro.” Lasers in Medical Science 27.1 (2012): 87-93.

PEMF for Anxiety?

June 20, 2019

Do these behaviors ring a bell with you?

Excessive panting when your dog knows you are leaving for work.

Your cat excessively grooming to the point that he creates bald spots in his fur

Anxiety in your horse before competition

Historically, Respond Systems, Inc has focused on PEMF therapy for pain relief, to reduce inflammation and to accelerate healing of both soft tissue and bone. Recently, however, we’ve seen a trend of positive reports of impacts on nervousness and anxiety in animals using the Respond Systems PEMF devices.

While bone and soft tissue healing pioneered the FDA approvals of PEMF, studies within the past decade have shown beneficial effects on the brain, including for treatment of depression and anxiety.

Two recent independent studies reported a reduction in “anxiety-like behaviors” when mice and rats were exposed to PEMF fields (Choleris, et al. Kalkan, et al).  Other studies have moved out of the lab animal model to examine effects on human subjects as well.  In one study (Martiny et al), the transcranial application of PEMF resulted in a 62% reduction on the Depression Rating Scale for patients suffering with treatment resistant depression.

This research is still young, and we aren’t making any claims of cure with PEMF therapy for the depressed dog or anxious horse. There does seem to be a promising trend that bears watching regarding PEMF’s positive impact on the conditions of those battling these types of mental conditions and illnesses.

For example, Deanna Rogers, PT, CCRP, CCFT, from Good Life Physical Therapy for Animals, shared her experience on the effect of PEMF on one of her geriatric patients.

“I had a very anxious and painful home care patient that I only saw twice who was a 130lb, overweight Malinois. He had severe left groin and knee pain so when I saw him the second time, when he was much worse after battling a tangle with a laundry basket, I recommended he see the vet again. It was the weekend, the vet office was closed, and the owners couldn’t get him in the car by themselves to get him to the ER clinic. So they wanted to manage him at home till that Monday.” 

“I gave them my Respond PEMF bed in addition to other things to try. They told me he LOVED the bed at the 5 Hz frequency. They were thinking more is better and tried 15 Hz and he wouldn’t get on the bed. So they went back to 5 Hz and he would go and lie on it and become less anxious.”

For decades, we’ve heard of a similar effect in horses treated with the Bio-Pulse Sentry PEMF Blanket.

Tom Meyers, equine physiotherapist and U.S Team Physio for numerous Olympics and World Games, has been working with PEMF therapy for over 25 years, and had this to say: 

“90% of the horses treated with Respond blankets get relief from anxiety. We treated Legolas, Steffen Peters’ (Multi-Time Dressage Olympic and World Game Medalist) horse, with the Sentry blanket before all competitions for his whole career, including World Games, Olympics and World Cup Aachen!”

While a method of activation or biochemical mechanism has not been defined yet, there are a few theories on the pathways PEMF therapy takes to combat depression and anxiety. These include improving neuroplasticity processes (Cichoń et al), decreasing higher EEG frequencies (Amirifalah, et al) and positively impacting the electrical activity of neurons and neurobiological processes effecting local brain activity and connectivity.

Respond will continue to follow the research on the topic as it emerges! In the interim, don’t be surprised if you find yourself using your PEMF equipment to not only promote soft tissue healing and reduction in inflammation, but also for addressing anxiety!

Amirifalah Z, Firoozabadi SM, Shafiei SA. Local exposure of brain central areas to a pulsed ELF magnetic field for a purposeful change in EEG. Clin EEG Neurosci. 2013 Jan;44(1):44-52.

 Choleris E, Thomas AW, Prato FS. A comparison of the effects of a 100 ut specific pulsed magnetic field and diazepam on anxiety-related behaviors in male CF1 mice. Bioelectromagnetics Society, 21st Annual Meeting, 20-24 June, Long Beach, CA, Abstract No. P-91, p. 129-130, 1999.

Cichoń N, Bijak M, Czarny P, Miller E, et al. Increase in Blood Levels of Growth Factors Involved in the Neuroplasticity Process by Using an Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field in Post-stroke Patients. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Sep 26;10:294.

Kalkan MT, Korpinar MA, Seker S, et al. The effect of the 50 Hz frequency sinusoidal magnetic field on the stress-related behavior of rats. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference Biomedical Engineering Days, 20-22 May, Istanbul, Turkey, p.78-81, 1998.

Martiny K, Lunde M, Bech P: Transcranial low voltage pulsed electromagnetic fields in patients with treatment-resistant depression. Biol Psychiatry 2010, 68:163–169.