April 5, 1985

Laser may have uses in bladder tumors, esophageal blockages

JAMA. 1985;253(13):1841-1843. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350370015002

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Certain bladder tumors, as well as some obstructive esophageal malignancies, appear to be showing encouraging response to laser therapy. This is the indication from two preliminary reports presented at the First European Meeting on New Trends in Medicine, held in Milan, Italy.

For those two oncologic applications, the instrument of choice at this point for these investigators is the neodymium-yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser. The device produces a powerful, highly focused beam of light in the near infrared range (1,060 μm) that can be transmitted to the tumor site through a flexible glass fiber, using the biopsy channel of an endoscope, they report.

The neodymium-YAG laser has been used by investigators in many of the studies of laser therapy of bladder and esophageal cancers reported in the past year. In 1984 alone, 20 such studies were reported in the Western scientific literature.

The neodymium-YAG laser apparently is especially useful in water-filled cavities