NASA technology has helped reduce the side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients. The technology was originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions, according to the space agency.
In a two-year clinical trial, cancer patients undergoing bone marrow or stem cell transplants were given a far red/near infrared light emitting diode treatment called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate, or HEALS, to treat oral mucositis--a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The trial concluded there is a 96 percent chance that the improvement in pain of those in the high-risk patient group was the result of the HEALS treatment.
The HEALS device, known as the WARP 75 light delivery system, can provide a cost-effective therapy as the device itself is less expensive than a day at the hospital and a proactive therapy for symptoms of mucositis that are currently difficult to treat without additional, negative side effects.
"Using this technology as a healing agent was phenomenal," explains Donna Salzman, clinical trial principal investigator and director of clinical services and education at the Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. "The HEALS device was well tolerated with no adverse affects to our bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients."
- read the NASA release