LED technology has provided medicine with a new tool capable of delivering light deep into tissues of the body. Certain wavelengths which are found to be biologically optimal for cancer treatment and wound healing. This LED technology has already flown on Space Shuttle missions, and shows promise for wound healing applications of benefit to Space Station astronauts.
Following radiotherapy for breast cancer, women exposed to pulses of low-energy non-thermal light-emitting diode photomodulation had significantly less dermatitis than controls.
LED photomodulation is widely used in cosmetic dermatology for improving skin healing and appearance. The apparatus consists of light-emitting diodes in a specific array that emit a non-thermal, low energy light at a pulsating frequency.
The pulses stimulate at the cellular level skins cells such as fibroblasts to repair themselves to build up the collagen.The other thing is that they interfere with the inflammatory pathways that break down the skin and cause erythema.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment modality that recently has been applied as adjuvant therapy for brain tumors. PDT consists of intravenously injecting a photosensitizer, which preferentially accumulates in tumor cells, into a patient and then activating the photosensitizer, with a LED light source.
The development of more effective light sources for PDT of brain tumors has been facilitated by applications of space light-emitting diode array technology: thus permitting deeper tumor penetration of light and use of better photosensitizers. Lutetium Texaphyrin (Lutex) is a new, second generation photosensitizer that can potentially improve PDT for brain tumors. Lutex has a major absorption peak at 730nm, which gives it two distinct advantages. Longer wavelengths of light penetrate brain tissue easily so that larger tumors could be treated, and second, the major absorption peak means that more of the drug is activated upon exposure to light.
Our experiments suggest potential for using LED light therapy at 680, 730, and 880 nm simultaneously, plus hyperbaric oxygen therapy, both alone and in combination, to accelerate the healing process in Space Station missions, where prolonged exposure to microgravity may otherwise retard healing