ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Close-up of an eye surgery technique used to remove a malignant melanoma, a cancerous tumour, from a patient's eye. A low-power red argon laser is directed through a fibre-optic onto the eye, which is encased in a plastic contact case that allows the pupil to stay fully open during the operation. The laser activates a drug called HPD, haemoporphyrin derivative, previously injected into the patient. Activation occurs through a photochemical reaction, & the products of this reaction are specifically targeted to the cancer cells, which are destroyed. In this application the heat-generating capability of the laser - its cutting power - is not utilised.
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