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Here is a list of events of interest to the whole of the North Cornwall Area, future, present and past.

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18Mar2014: Lasers in Medicine and Surgery

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 18th March at 7.00pm at Jericho’s, 4 Northgate St., Launceston PL15 8BD - as usual.

The talk will be “Lasers in Medicine and Surgery” by Professor Stephen Bown, MD, FRCP, Emeritus Professor of Laser Medicine, University College, London

Lasers provide a simple, accurate and easily controllable way of delivering light to almost any part of the body. Important applications are for treating eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration and complications of diabetes and for reshaping the front of the eye to reduce the need for glasses. High power laser beams transmitted down optical fibres can be used with endoscopes (flexible telescopes for looking inside hollow organs).

The first application was to stop stomach ulcers bleeding, but the main indication now is to unblock cancers obstructing the gullet or major airways. Laser fibres can even be passed through needles inserted through the skin to gently “cook” tumours in internal organs. Another application is as a non-contact knife in areas like the throat.

A newer, exciting technique is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in which low power laser light is used to activate drugs given to sensitize diseased tissues. The biology of PDT is quite different from standard cancer treatments like surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This is a gentle approach to managing tumours in cosmetically and functionally important areas like the skin and mouth as much of the healing is by regeneration of essentially normal tissue. It is also being studied for the treatment of early cancers in a range of internal organs such as the prostate, pancreas, lungs and gullet. This is part of the developing speciality of interventional oncology: defining and treating internal cancers by minimally invasive techniques under the control of highly sophisticated imaging using ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

With a background in physics and gastroenterology, Prof. Bown runs a clinical translational research group, dedicated to understanding the interaction of light with living tissue and its use for the detection and treatment of human disease. Bringing scientists and clinicians together, he leads programmes to understand the biology of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in normal and diseased tissues and apply the results to patient care.

We look forward to seeing you at Jericho’s on the 19th.

Free Entrance but donations welcome to help cover costs.

Refreshments: £3 per person

For any queries contact: Colin Webb colinwebb9@sky.com 01409 253125
or check the website at: www.cafescilaunceston.org