Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

'Red Light' Green Lights New Possibilities for Cancer Treatment


Making cancer treatments more effective could be as simple as bathing cells in a soothing glow. Researchers at the University of Ulm in Germany have found that cells absorb chemotherapy drugs more effectively when first hit with a pulse of red light, reports New Scientist. Because light on this wavelength decreases the density of water and pushes it out of cells "when the laser is switched off, the water returns to its high-density state, forcing the cell to 'suck in' water and any other molecules, including drugs, from its surroundings," New Scientist says. The researchers, who reported their findings in the Journal of Controlled Release, tested this method on cervical cancer cells. They "surrounded" the cells with anti-cancer drugs and exposed some of them to the red light for one minute. The researchers observed that that 70 percent of the cells that were exposed to the light died, while only 31 percent of cells that were kept in the dark died, New Scientist says.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.