Norfolk campaign for photodynamic therapy cancer treatment appeals for volunteers

A Norfolk campaign committee looking to raise awareness and the use of a relatively unknown form of cancer treatment is appealing for volunteers.

The Norfolk Campaign Committee for Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) hopes to fund research into the uses of PDT as well as raising awareness among clinicians and patients about how it can be offered as a treatment option for certain types of cancer.

PDT uses laser or other light sources, combined with a light-sensitive drug to destroy cancer cells. Committee member Steve Wiseman said: 'We have had a very positive initial meeting to discuss options for research. We are particularly interested in sponsoring research with regard to the use of PDT for the early detection of lung cancer.'

The committee, which earlier this year invited health professionals, commissioners and support groups to a symposium on the role of PDT in cancer management, is also hoping to establish itself as a local charity in the near future.

Mr Wiseman said: 'Later in the year we plan to host a meeting of all cancer groups in East Anglia in order to raise awareness of PDT and hopefully the research we will be sponsoring; we recently attended a meeting of patient support groups which was very useful.

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'In order to continue to raise awareness and sponsor research, we will be designing and implementing a major fundraising strategy.

'We are actively seeking volunteers to help us with administration and to run awareness raising events.'

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Photodynamic therapy is already used for some dermatology patients in Norfolk. Advantages are that PDT can be repeated many times, normal cells often heal more quickly than other methods, it can be used after radiotherapy, and as it has a photochemical effect rather than a thermal effect, there is no heat.

The photosensitising drug can be injected into the body, but just selected parts can be activated by shining a light on the affected area.

Any volunteers interested in helping the committee should contact Steve Wiseman on 0771 9215350, or email

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