Scientists develop plaster to treat common skin cancers

British scientists have developed a plaster that treats skin cancer.

The patch emits a photodynamic ight, similar to that already in use to treat skin cancers, and is powered by a battery. The light is used to stimulate an anti-cancer cream on the skin.

The treatment allows a patient to be treated without spending hours in a hospital.

Professor Ifor Samuel of the Universityof St Andrews is one of the scientists who developed the patch.

The technology could also be used to deliver other treatments for conditions such as acne and also for cosmetic treatments.

Light technology does help winter depression, says new report

London: A three year trial trial has confirmed the effectiveness of a revolutionary new LED technology that emits an intensely bright uv-free light at exactly the right wavelength to achieve the maximum and most rapid suppression of the sleep hormone melatonin.

The conclusion of the study at five centres in Canada and Holland was titled “Treatment with The Litebook is an effective treatment for SAD as assessed by both clinicians (SIGH-SAD, CGI) and patients (BDI).”

The short treatment time (30 minutes) and portability of the device may increase patient appeal and adherence over other treatment options, including chemical antidepressants and other light therapy devices.

This study comes hot on the heels of clinical trials, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, that demonstrated that light therapy is more effective than fluoxetine (Prozac) in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Light therapy is a drug free and non-addictive.

Compared to fluoxetine it was shown to have a more rapid onset of improvement and a lack of side effects. It is estimated that only 3 -5% of people suffer from SAD but the incidence of ‘Winter Blues’ is as high as 40%.

Dr. Jan Wise, London-based consultant psychiatrist and expert in seasonal depression and light therapy, comments, “Two in five people will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. If you notice symptoms such as lack of energy, trouble sleeping and a general low feeling for prolonged periods, then this is a very real sign of SAD. Light therapy is an important and clinically proven treatment for seasonal depression. It is non-invasive, non-chemical and enables anyone with SAD to control their symptoms as naturally and effectively as possible.”

Typical SAD symptoms of lethargy, low energy, carbohydrate and nicotine craving, poor sleep patterns and depressed mood are not restricted to winter months. The effects of light and lack of sleep on body rhythms can cause year-long social jetlag. The Litebook also offers an effective drug-free treatment for shift workers, teenagers, over 50s and anyone living out of kilter with their body clock. Typical usage time is just 15-30 minutes compared to up to 2 hours using large and unwieldy legacy systems.

Light device more accurate in diabetes diagnosis

A new device called the Scout is being used by doctors to more accurately detect early signs of diabetes. It uses light to detect the early signs of diabetes in 60 seconds by spotting chemical markers in the skin.

It has been shown to be more accurate than the existing technique, which involves the patient fasting for 12 hours and having blood taken to test glucose levels. The samples are sent to a lab and results can take several days.

The new test is able to detect 20 per cent more patients with type two diabetes — the kind mostly linked with obesity — than the fasting test, which often has to be repeated. Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas has stopped producing the hormone insulin or its output has dropped sharply. Unless it is diagnosed early, it can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and arteries.