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Photomedicine and Stem Cells

The Janus face of photodynamic therapy (PDT) to kill cancer stem cells, and photobiomodulation (PBM) to stimulate normal stem cells
Heidi Abrahamse, Michael R Hamblin


Janus, the ancient Roman god depicted with two faces is an appropriate metaphor for light therapy. Depending on whether or not light is combined with a non-toxic photosensitizing dye (photodynamic therapy), and on the overall dose of light (energy density and power density), light is able to kill just about anything that is living such as cancers, microorganisms, blood vessels, parasites, pests, and unwanted tissues. On the opposite side of the coin (or perhaps on the other side of Janus' face), light of the correct wavelength and at the right dose (photobiomodulation) can have exactly the opposite effect, being able to heal, regenerate, protect, revitalize, and restore any kind of dead, damaged, stressed, dying, degenerating cells, tissue, or organ system. Between the bad destroying face of photodynamic therapy, and the good healing face of photobiomodulation, it may well be concluded that "all diseases can be treated with light". This book discusses both sides of Janus' face in regards to light therapy.

About Editors

Heidi Abrahamse PhD Wits, (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology), is currently the Director of the Laser Research Centre, University of Johannesburg and Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation SARChI Chair for Laser Applications in Health.
Michael R Hamblin PhD is a Principal Investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, an Associate Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School and affiliated faculty at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology.

Table of Contents


Paperback ISBN: 9780750328913

Ebook ISBN: 9781681743226

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4321-9

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


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