Research and Development

Lung Cancer is one of the most lethal cancer-related diseases worldwide. The expanding lesions are obstructing the airways and causing metastasis over the whole organ system. Over 1.3 Million people are dying annually because of diverse lung cancer entities . Despite all medical progress the prognosis remains poor because most patients are diagnosed at a stage when curative treatment is not longer possible.The aim of our approach is the treatment of central bronchial cancer lesions, because of the accessibility over the endoscope.

If the tumour mass is still low, a diagnosis and staging is only possible performing a bronchoscopy taking biopsies. This can be done using white light flexible fibre bronchoscopes. A more and more successful approach is the diagnosis over fluorescence imaging systems, using certain illumination wavelengths and filter systems for the excitation of intrinsic fluorophores. Under administration of extrinsic fluorophores the contrast between tumour and healthy tissue can be enhanced. This technique is called photodynamic diagnosis.

Classical therapeutic approaches are radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery. In the central bronchial system tumours are often treated with thermal laser therapy, cryotherapy or local radiotherapy (afterloading). The selectivity of those treatments is poor and not well controllable. With PDT it is possible to detect tumours via the red fluorescence induced by the excitation with blue light in the near UV delivered by several commercially available fluorescence detection systems, on the other hand, it is possible to destroy dysplastic tissues over the photochemical generation of reactive oxygen species.

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