The BBC and Daily Mail are helping to reveal PBM (Photobiomodulation Therapy) into the wider community. With more public awareness of the amazing benefits how PBM light therapy is massively improving lives, we hope it will encourage more people to search it out and ask for this treatment in their own locations.
Cancer patients are benefiting from a new light therapy treatment which tackles a common side effect caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Photobiomodulation (PBM) has launched in hospitals run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) to prevent or treat oral mucositis. It occurs when cancer treatments damage the lining of the mouth. This can leave the tissue vulnerable to ulceration and infection.
All head and neck cancer patients having radiotherapy are being offered PBM at Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.
The treatments are being overseen by Jenny Gale, radiotherapy sister at Colchester, and Lyndsey Rew Macmillan specialist radiographer at Ipswich.
Jenny is also interim head and neck clinical nurse specialist at ESNEFT. She has had radiotherapy treatment herself so is able to relate to what her patients are feeling and the benefits PBM will bring for them.
She said: “It can really make your mouth sore. It hurts to swallow too which can make eating and drinking difficult, as well as having an impact on your general wellbeing.
“Unlike the side effects, PBM is completely painless. It’s very simple to carry out so most patients can do it themselves and take control of their treatment which is amazing.
“Evidence shows patients need less pain relief when they’ve had PBM, and they generally cope with their treatment better. It’s really exciting that we are offering it in our hospitals now.”
PBM works by applying infrared light to tissue, via two probes, which can reduce inflammation and improve healing.
Funding for two Thor laser machines, one at Colchester Hospital and the other at Ipswich Hospital, was provided thanks to a £31,000 grant from Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity.
“The training course was very informative and motivating. Great to meet other people and share experiences. I always feel like I learn a lot each time I attend. Enjoyed listening to James Carroll’s lectures.”
Lymphoedema Therapist/ Health & Fitness PT
Surrey, United Kingdom
“The live, 8 hour Laser Therapy Course that I attended via the Web was most valuable and useful. James Carroll provided a wealth of essential information, intermingled with humour. My ‘take-aways’ will assist my focus on (1) choosing the right PBM equipment to acquire and then (2) implementing the most appropriate treatment protocols. I highly recommend the course.”
Australian Dragon Boat Team, World Championships, USA.
Coach of Gold & Silver Medalist teams: Australian Masters Games (Dragon Boats).
Martial Arts: Black tip.
Newcastle NSW, Australia
Wanda has suffered with chronic pain and tenderness throughout her body for many years. Listen to her testimonial about how NovoTHOR Whole Body Light Therapy has transformed her life after having treatment at the PBM Therapy Clinic in Derby UK.
“I have been using lasers in my dental practice for more than 10 years now, and THOR is my latest addition. After completing the excellent remote training with James Carroll, I started using PMB on TMD cases, and the results have been immediate. The patients are very happy with the rapid remission of their symptoms. I am looking forward to using PMB in a variety of clinical situations in my office.”
Dr. Elizabeth Munteanu D.D.S.
Toronto ON, Canada
“I like the course information from the research, the testimonies, and the humor. I am so grateful for this dedication to treatment through a more natural means. Thank you all for working so many years to bring this to those in pain, with wounds and more.”
“James is very engaging. I admire his creativity and translational work, his integrating science, engineering and ‘inventions’ with clinical applications. Appreciate his total immersion in developing and researching PMB and promoting PBM as an important therapeutic modality. One does not sense that financial gain is a driving force.
It was exciting to learn of potential use of PBM in ‘untreatable’ diseases such as AMD. It inspires one to provide this seemingly innocuous therapy for a number of more mundane conditions afflicting the general public.”
Alicia Parker Sweatt, MD
Lafayette LA, USA
Belinda N. Mandrell PhD, RN, PNP has been at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for over 30 years. Belinda speaks to James Carroll about how they have been treating their oral mucositis patients with photobiomodulation.
Shepherd University officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday for the expansion of a pain clinic at the school.
The clinic uses a process called photobiomodulation, or PBM. It uses laser light therapy to reduce pain from degenerative diseases.
A PBM bed is included in the university’s Wellness Center expansion and will be used to help those in and around the school’s community. The school received $500,000 through the state’s federal COVID relief funds for the clinic’s expansion.
“The application could be for young and old, healthy and sick,” said James Carroll, CEO of THOR Photomedicine. His company manufactures PBM beds.
“We know with athletes that it’s very good; if you pretreat before training, you have less fatigue, you have less muscle soreness due to less inflammation,” Carroll said. “But then if you’re older, and you have degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis – that’s an inflammatory joint disease – it would reduce the inflammation and therefore they’ll have less pain.”
Praveen Arany is the interim director for Shepherd’s PBM Center for Excellence. He says the process is similar to exercising or taking supplements, helping build resistance against long-term health issues.
“It’s a non-drug, non-interventional, non-invasive procedure; it’s just like treatment,” said Arany. “The advantage of that is there are no known side effects. And more importantly, it works on the wellness or the resilience of the people (being treated).”
Shepherd University officials cutting a ribbon to celebrate the expansion of the school’s PBM facility
The university plans to use the technology to research PBM’s effect on long COVID fatigue and opioid addiction.
Wellness Center director Jennifer Flora says she sees this as a starting point for even more expansion.
“When this building was developed, we labeled it a Wellness Center with hopes to offer additional wellness services – and we do on a very small scale,” Flora said. “It’s really rewarding to actually have an additional wellness service to really live up to our name.”
The Shepherd University Wellness Center is offering three free sessions to the general public starting Wednesday.
Kim went to Natural Healing Center with fibromyalgia, fatigue, shoulder and hip pain, brain fog and in general, just not feeling well. Her pain levels are so much less, she can now tolerate heavy exercise. NovoTHOR has made a big impact on healing her tennis elbow and improving her skin.
St Jude Hospital is the world’s leading research centre for catastrophic diseases in children. They just published a story on our Photobiomodulation treatment of Oral Mucositis, a common side-effect of chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments.
Shining a Light on Mucositis
A new study conducted by St. Jude Nursing Research uses a painless therapy to help children avoid a common side effect of bone marrow transplantation.
New technology helps prevent oral mucositis for head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemoradiation
Fort Myers, Fla. & Bethesda, Md., March 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD), an American Oncology Network (AON) partner, is pleased to announce it is now offering THOR® Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy for the prevention and treatment of mouth sores in cancer therapy patients. Patients can now receive light therapy at both office locations in Maryland, Bethesda at 6410 Rockledge Drive, Suite 660 and in Germantown at 19735 Germantown Road, Suite 255.
The positive effects of PBM therapy on oral mucositis have been reported in 42 randomized controlled trials and nine systematic reviews, reducing the incidence of severe mucositis. Guidelines issued by the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) in 2019 recommend the use of PBM for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis caused by radiation.
“Cancer patients deal with many side effects when they go through treatment,” said Dr. Mark G. Goldstein of The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. “Head and neck cancer patients receiving a high dose of chemoradiation treatment are almost 100 percent guaranteed to get a high level of oral mucositis. These painful mouth sores can make everyday tasks like eating, swallowing or brushing teeth difficult. Being able to offer our patients light therapy can bring therapeutic benefit. Without sores, patients can maintain their treatment schedules and may be able to avoid feeding tubes as well as narcotics. Maintaining treatment schedules can improve cancer control and overall outcome, along with reducing any long-term side effects.”
Each light treatment takes about 60 seconds and is painless. The light unit is shaped like a flat popsicle which is placed inside the mouth. With this single light unit, the entire mouth can be treated including the tongue as well as the areas near and behind the tonsils. Research done in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, India and Europe, shows no side effects.
Medical Director and CEO of The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Dr. Ralph Boccia added, “New developments continue to improve a patient’s quality of life. Currently only a handful of medical universities offer this light therapy. We’re excited to be one of the first community medical oncology practices in the country to be able to offer and treat mucositis, a major side effect suffered by many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.”
AON CEO Brad Prechtl, MBA said, “Bringing the most advanced and innovative technologies to patients is an essential part of CCBD’s mission as a community oncology practice to provide exceptional cancer care to patients close to home.”
AON is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders that provides a unique array of enhanced services to its affiliated community-based oncology practices. It consistently strives to find innovative ways to connect with patients. AON’s community oncology model allows physicians to focus on what matters most — their patients.
About The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders: (CCBDMD.com)
Specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders and cancer, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders has been serving patients in the communities and surrounding areas of Bethesda and Germantown, Maryland for more than 25 years. Their individualized approach to patient care includes chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and when appropriate, cutting edge therapies on clinical trials. The practice regularly performs more than 300 clinical trials on new and developing diagnostic devices and techniques for cancer and diseases. Patients receive home delivery of oral cancer medications, in-house lab and pathology and on-site infusion therapy. The practice also offers comprehensive support with nutrition guidance and financial counseling.
About American Oncology Network, LLC: (AONcology.com)
American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) is an alliance of physicians and seasoned healthcare leaders partnering to ensure the long-term success of community oncology. Launched in 2018, the rapidly expanding AON network represents 92 physicians and 62 nurse practitioners and physician assistants practicing across 16 states. The executive management team of AON encompasses more than three decades of oncology practice management experience, enabling physicians to focus on what matters most – providing the highest quality care for patients.
The organization provides unique and comprehensive protocols for managing administrative procedures and enhancing ancillary services for its affiliates. AON is able to aggregate volume and attain economies of scale, as it guides its member physicians and practices through the transition to value-based reimbursement models that improve the patient experience and help to reduce the per-capita cost of cancer care.
AON also provides a unique model of physician led, community-based oncology management. With services such as a centralized specialty pharmacy, diagnostics, pathology, fully integrated electronic medical records, a care management team and a variety of financial assistance programs, an alliance with AON ensures that patients’ experiences will be at the very pinnacle of cancer care today.
Chemotherapy is difficult for any child, but when it causes mucositis, a painful side effect that causes ulcers to form in the mouth, it gets even harder. These children often require more pain medications and longer hospital stays.
Ben Wilson, 11, of Dilliner, Pa., was one of those patients. He was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma. The chemotherapy regimen he was on was known to cause mucositis, but it was his best course of treatment. When he developed mucositis, his mother, Alison Wilson, talked to Dr. Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, director of the WVU Cancer Institute, about the trouble Ben was having with sores in his mouth and how difficult it was to maintain a lengthy mouthwash regimen to try to treat them.
“We tried some preventive treatments, including cold therapy, where you have them eat a lot of ice and do a series of seven mouthwashes, ” Alison Wilson said. “The cold therapy didn’t help much. Plus, it’s hard to use seven mouthwashes in a day, especially if you’re a kid, and they don’t taste very good.”
Hazard-Jenkins reached out to Dr. Geraldine Jacobson, WVU Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology chair, who contacted the pediatric oncologists at WVU Medicine Children’s to discuss whether the WVU Cancer Institute’s new THOR device would help Ben.
The THOR photobiomodulation device uses low-level lasers in the near-infrared range that stimulate and promote wound healing and regeneration.
“Low-level laser therapy is indicated by a multinational supportive care association for treatment of oral mucositis in adults, ” Jacobson said. “We have been using this treatment in the Department of Radiation Oncology since June to reduce oral mucositis in our head and neck cancer patients. The THOR device can be used outside the mouth along the cheek, jaw and neck to prevent mucositis lesions or inside the mouth to treat active wounds. There were positive reports of using this treatment for pediatric patients, so we decided to offer it to Ben.”
Dr. Patrick Tomboc, chief of WVU Medicine Children’s Hematology and Oncology, said he was amazed at how quickly the treatments helped Ben and prevented new sores from forming.
“This device greatly improves the quality of life for these patients, ” Tomboc said. “Ben has required much less pain medication than most patients who develop mucositis. We’ve been able to reduce the length of his hospital stays and really help with his pain management without any side effects.”
The device is also indicated for use in wound healing, which helped Ben when the surgical wound on his foot was slow to heal.
“Ben had really been struggling with his wound healing all summer, and it’s always a concern when you start chemotherapy with an open wound because it can slow healing even more, leaving it open to possible infection, ” Alison Wilson said. “After a nurse in Radiation Oncology suggested we try it on his foot as well, we discussed it with his doctors. There were so few possible side effects that we decided to go ahead and see if it would help. We had more healing in one month than we had all summer.”
“We’re really grateful that they were willing to look into using this device on kids to see what other institutions were using it and the pros and cons of the treatment. We’re also really excited that it has opened the door for other pediatric patients here, ” she added.
Disclaimer: These comments by healthcare professionals and their patients are solely their own. They are uncompensated personal stories about how they have used, or been impacted by, light therapy. These uses have not been reviewed or cleared by FDA.
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING. Ending Opioid Use – Washington DC
James Carroll presented evidence to Congress on the effectiveness of PBM for treating pain and where it can be used in place of opioids. Prof. Praveen Arany explained how and why it works, and Annette Quinn RN gave her first hand experience in treating over 854 patients with Oral Mucositis.
A hundred million adults in the United States are affected by chronic pain and $600 billion a year is spent on health care, direct health care costs and lost productivity because of pain.
49,000 people died from opioids in 2017, 19,000 of which were from prescribed opioids for pain relief.
We believe that Photobiomodulation therapy can help reduce the prescribing of opioid medication for pain relief and we wish to draw attention to the Congress and health care policymakers, NIH and CMS, about this potentially valuable tool.
This 15 minute video starts with an overview of Photobiomodulation and low level light therapy. Later in the presentation James introduces the Lumithera treatment for Dry Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
The paper “High-intensity versus low-level laser therapy in the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial” Kheshie et al 2014 pitches the 3B BTL laser against the HIRO class IV “High intensity” laser. The results appear to show that the HIRO class IV “High intensity laser” was more effective than the “Low Level Laser”. HOWEVER, the HIRO class IV “High intensity” laser was delivered over a large area (not adequately defined but approx 100cm2 by my estimation) so the intensity was actually very low (about 13mW/cm2 which is less than most LED systems), and the 3B BTL “Low Level Laser” was actually very high (4 x 200mW small, high intensity beams) and were held stationary on the patella for over half an hour, YES, HALF AN HOUR IN ONE SPOT! This is insane.
This paper leads people to think that the class IV Hiro laser was more effective because it was higher intensity when in fact the beam distribution meant the average intensity distribution was low (13mW/cm2). The 3B laser was not so effective because it was held stationary such that it would cause an overdose. If the 3B laser treatment had been delivered in using same scanning technique as the class IV then they would likely have achieved the same result. (I am not a fan of scanning because you can never be sure how much energy you have delivered to an area, better to use a low intensity device and hold it still in my view).
This paper misdirects the reader towards favouring class IV lasers rather than 3b or LED by misinforming the reader.
The title of last months PMLS editorial was Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) and World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT) Dosage Recommendations. Written by the Scientific Secretary Prof. Jan Bjordal. He describes how far we have come and the importance of the WALT dosage recommendations. No abstract is available for editorials so I have prepared one for you below. Continue reading →
A paper titled ”The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Class IV (10 W) Laser Treatment for Epicondylitis” [ref] showed that 10 Watt Class IV laser (mixed 8W 970nm, 2W 810) was successful in reducing pain and improving function in an RCT with 15 patients, and that there was good statistical significance at 6 months following a course of 6 treatments.
The claim by class IV laser manufacturers is that class IV lasers are better (faster, deeper and more effective) than Class 3b and LED systems. Conversely the 3B laser and LED manufacturers argue that less power density is more effective because delivering energy too quickly can overdose tissues and class IV lasers might burn the skin.
Throughout this paper there are marketing messages claiming the advantages of shorter treatment times than low power LLLT systems and of course the title shouts “10 Watt Class IV laser” just in case the reader is in any doubt that more power is what you need.
Regular readers of this column know my obsession with irradiation parameters, particularly dose rate effects (W/cm2) and will not be surprised to learn that I deconstruced the irradiation parameters used in this trial . Surprise, surprise they were the same low irradiance levels typically used by 3B lasers and LED systems, if not less and the treatment time was longer too.
Yes, it was a 10 Watt laser and yes, 3,000 joules was delivered, however it had a large beam area and treatment was delivered over (45cm2) in a “painting fashion”. The fluence (dose) was 6.6 Joules/cm2 and the power density was a tiny 22mW/cm2, consequently treatment time was a hefty 5 mins.
The average irradiance was not disclosed in the paper and the reader is directed to think that more power is quicker.
P.S. research trials with 3B lasers are typically 30 seconds to 3 mins and our recommended treatment is 1 min with a large LED cluster to the lateral epicondyle and 30 seconds for any related trigger points.
The Treatment Protocol Library is available only to THOR Customers and/or people who have attended a THOR training course in the last 3 years. All treatments are based on our four step method which includes treatment of the injury, trigger points, lymphatics and nerve roots.
Take a look to see how it works and let us know what you think.