The Mad Alchemist's Nook...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Health, holography, and photochemistry.

One of the various things that's been jiggling and tugging at what passes for brain matter in my world is what appears to be a glaring gap in our current medical sciences - a gap which appears to have no reason for its existance...

Basically, our cancer research is reliant on the medical technologies of the 12th through 19th centuries. Seems a tad outdated to me...

...our solutions are pretty much two-fold. The first we use - chemotherapy - runs something along the lines of "if we poison the crap out of them, maybe it'll make the 'bad spirits' get sick and leave."

The other - radiation therapy - is something along the lines of "wave this glowing magick rock at them until they get sick."

...these are all fine as far as they go - "poisoning bad spirits" has come a few baby steps since arsenic was the most popular antibiotic around - but they seem to have a high side effect ratio. So, for that matter, do the 'magick rocks.'

In my humble opinion, this is... sorta... intolerable. We have existing technologies which surpass this - entire fields, in fact...

...the field of research which interests me most in the field - and as far as I know, it doesn't exist yet - is holographic photoactivated chemotherapy.

Theoretically, it should be "yesterday's news." Phototoxicity has been known for quite some time - one of the oldest-known examples is the anthroquinones of St. John's Wort, which makes one far more sensitive to sunburn through its phototoxic tendancies.

Holographic targeting? Again, a number of solutions - often downright ancient - present themselves, from simple additive intersection to advanced fourier computer-controlled holography, which should ever-so-theoretically be able to drop a non-penetrating electromagnetic waveform directly on the target molecule at the target location.

...no hair loss, no surrounding tissue damage... nothing but noninvasive directed nanotechnological excision of the selected cell. With a little research into resolution of common imaging techniques, and being able to tell "cancerous" from "noncancerous" one cell at a time, we could even chase metastasized cancers around the body, one cell at a time, with a microscopic, potential holographic dot with relative ease; time-consuming, perhaps, but the ultimate video game.

For the life of me, I don't know why we haven't developed this technology yet.

The more-advanced of the technological principles were discovered early- and mid-last century (the rest - such as trigonometry - are several centuries old) and the research methodology seems simple enough...

- compile known phototoxic compounds.

- ascertain nontoxicity in non-photoactivated state.

- bonus for concentrated uptake into cancer cells.

- bonus (for mere laziness) for photoactivation by penetrating frequencies.

...and there you pretty much have it. The average preschooler can create "intersecting beams of light" without even the pretense of difficulty, and both simple trigonometry and fourier computation should be ludicrously within the realms of modern computer science.

...we have the means to target chemotherapy to a single milimeter, with ease, right now, without any special work. Most people reading this could build a photochemotherapy system to those minimal specifications with just a little research, with relative ease. Going beyond simple technologies - designer monomolecular nanorobotics, advanced computer-controlled precision, what have one - are still technologies which are common enough that we have amateur hobbyists in these fields, for heaven's sake.

...can anyone tell me why, with all the funding in cancer research, why we're not applying modern technologies to current problems? Can anyone tell us why we have no solutions in medical science whose technological basis is beyond the theory of the 1800s?

Most of all - would anyone with the backing to force it through the FDA's immense burdens to development care to give it a try?