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A Ray of Hope for Patients Suffering from Glioblastoma Multiforme

New research reports that fractioned light can enhance the effects of PDT treatment

By Stephanie Grauden | Jun 27, 2017

Wausau, WI (June 27, 2017) – High-grade gliomas have been on the rise, causing 3% of all cancer deaths in patients 35-64 years old. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most invasive brain tumor, carries a poor prognosis. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves activating a photo-sensitive drug using light in presence of oxygen, has been found to prolong patient survival of up to four years. A study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) recently reported that fractioned light can further enhance the effects of PDT treatment of the disease. The results suggested that when administered light was split into 5 doses, there was improved blood flow to the tumor leading to better treatment efficacy and thus faster killing of cancer cells.

The manuscript titled, “Interstitial Photodynamic Therapy and Glioblastoma: Light Fractionation in a Preclinical Model” was selected as Editor’s Choice in the July 2017 issue of LSM. The authors of this paper are members of a research group within the ONCO-THAI Lab (Head Pr. Serge Mordon) located in Northern France and lead by Dr. Maximilien Vermandel (Medical Physicist) and Pr. Nicolas Reyns (Neurosurgeon). This group develops research on laser therapies to treat brain cancer (high grade gliomas). This group has recently started a clinical trial on intraoperative 5-ALA PDT for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma, INDYGO, (Clinical Trial ID: NCT03048240) and coordinates a European network aimed at gathering experts in neurosurgery and PDT.

 “This paper reports the results of a preclinical study that aims to evaluate the effect of light fractionation during 5-ALA PDT of Glioblastoma,” said Dr. Vermandel. “In addition to necrosis and edema scoring, quantitative assessment of the level of apoptosis was achieved by immunohistochemistry using the TUNEL method. Apoptosis is the preferred cell death pathway for limiting inflammation and excess edema. From this perspective, the 5-fraction treatment was more effective than the 2-fraction treatment and increased cell death by apoptosis.”

Dr. Maximilien Vermandel has a master’s degree and a PhD in automatic and signal processing from the University of Lille, as well as a master’s degree in medical physics from the University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse (UPS). Today, he is an Associate Professor at the University of Lille and a Medical Physicist at the Lille University Hospital. Its research topics are mainly oriented to image-guided photodynamic therapy applied in neurosurgery. Its current work aims to apply PDT to high-grade gliomas. Dr. Vermandel is author and co-author of more than 110 scientific articles.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization, dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. Currently, ASLMS has over 4,000 members, including physicians and surgeons representing more than 51 specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, nurses, industry representatives and manufacturers. For more information, visit


The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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