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Laser Zaps Bile Duct Cancer

A cutting edge therapy to improve the lives of patients battling a hard-to-treat condition.<br><span lang=X-NONE> <br></span>

THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH BILE DUCT CANCER THIS YEAR. 
ONLY TWO-PERCENT WILL STILL BE ALIVE IN FIVE YEARS. 
NOW, THERE'S SOMETHING NEW THAT MAY HELP THEM LIVE BETTER LIVES.
 A TINY, YET POWERFUL BEAM OF LIGHT MAY BE BUYING NANCY COLLINS-AND PATIENTS LIKE HER PRECIOUS TIME. NANCY HAS BILE DUCT CANCER. IT'S HARD TO DETECT, AND EVEN TOUGHER TO CURE.
"It's bad. There's not much hope for you."
THE BILE DUCTS CARRY BILE THROUGH THE LIVER INTO THE INTESTINES TO HELP THE BODY DIGEST FOOD. 
WHEN CANCER DEVELOPS HERE, THEY BECOME BLOCKED, CAUSING INFECTIONS AND LIVER DAMAGE.
SURGERY IS THE ONLY CURE. BUT IN TWO-THIRDS OF ALL CASES, THE LOCATION OF THE TUMOR MAKES THAT IMPOSSIBLE. SURGEONS AT THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL ARE USING A NEW PROCEDURE FOR PATIENTS WHO CAN'T HAVE SURGERY. DURING PHOTO-DYNAMIC THERAPY, PATIENTS RECEIVE AN I-V DRUG THAT MAKES THE CANCER CELLS SENSITIVE TO A LASER. A SCOPE GOES FROM THE MOUTH TO THE SMALL INTESTINE AND INTO THE BILE DUCTS. THEN DOCTORS INSERT THE LASER WHICH KILLS THE CANCER CELLS BUT LEAVES NORMAL TISSUE INTACT.
"It keeps the bile ducts open longer.  It kills some of the tumor.  Sometimes we even see the tumor shrink.  But it's not a cure."
THE THERAPY GIVES PATIENTS BACK THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE-AND JUST MIGHT EXTEND THEIR LIVES. FOR NANCY, THAT'S TIME TO SEE A GRANDDAUGHTER OFF TO PROM.
SPEND ANOTHER HOLIDAY WITH LOVED ONES.  AND CELEBRATE SIXTY YEARS OF MARRIAGE.
DOCTOR LOREN SAYS THE P-D-T TREATMENT CAN BE REPEATED EVERY THREE MONTHS. 
THE ONE MAJOR SIDE EFFECT IS SUSCEPTIBILITY TO SUNBURN.
THE DOCTOR TELLS US THE TREATMENT HAS EXTENDED THE LIVES OF SOME BILE DUCT CANCER PATIENTS FROM ONE TO THREE YEARS.
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