Much large artery disease where blockages arise is treated with balloon angioplasty, with or without stenting. This may be followed by re-stenosis at a later date due to what the medics describe as ‘smooth muscle cell proliferation in the arterial wall – thickening of the arteries.
This type of disease is most commonly heard of in the heart and lungs, but can take place in many other parts of the body. This disease is one of the prime factors responsible for heart attack and stroke.
Perhaps the most common and best way of preventing currently is by using stents that are impregnated with cytotoxic drugs.
From medical trial research, the teams are finding that PDT is able to do this just as well, with less long term damage to the arterial wall.
The National Medical Laser Centre at UCH in London was the first in the world to use this on patients, with remarkably good results with patients four years after treatment.
As ever, the lack of funding has meant that only a few dozen patients have been able to receive this experimental treatment. It is impossible to set up a full medical trial without money.
With all the fund raising activities planned, this research now becomes an absolute priority fort the charity to fund. At this stage, the recruitment of patients for this study is still some way off. We will post details here when that time has come!
If PDT works as well as expected, this PDT procedure would be considerably cheaper for health providers than the drug eluting stents. Fewer anti-platelet drugs would be needed after treatment.
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