UVC radiation therapy for leukemia

Lyndon L. Larcom
Amy Tuck
Samuel Smith

Document Type Patent


Leukocytes from leukemia patients have been found to be readily killed by ultra-violet light-C (UVC) radiation. Cells from healthy donors were minimally affected by doses of UVC 10 times higher than those which caused dramatic drops in the metabolism of diseased cells and eventual death. Irradiated cells from leukemia patients and from healthy individuals demonstrated a number of single strand DNA breaks and alkali-labile sites compared to unirradiated control cells. The extent of DNA damage to both healthy and diseased cells is dose dependent. However, the diseased cells demonstrated more extensive DNA fragmentation and an inability to undergo self-repair. The heightened sensitivity to UVC radiation of diseased leukocytes from leukemia patients is used to provide an excorporeal treatment of diseased leukocytes followed by the re-introduction of the treated leukocytes to the patient.