PHOTO-OXIDATION (PHOTOX) THERAPY
The treatment to be described here is basically simple from the clinical point of view. The photophysiology that it sets in motion is extremely complex and only partially understood. The pioneers in the field in the early Twentieth Century, Drs. Barrett, Rebbeck, Miley and, most important, Mr. Emmett Knott, an engineer, called the treatment “extracorporeal blood irradiation.” We call it “photoluminescence”, the irradiation of whole blood samples with ultraviolet light. The term photo-oxidation was adopted to describe the combined therapy of intravenous hydrogen peroxide, an oxygenation process, and photoluminescence, hence
photo-oxidation or photox. The hydrogen peroxide increases the oxygen concentration of the blood elements and thus makes the irradiated blood more photosensitive.
A UV irradiation method now being used in a number of universities employs photopheres.is. This FDA-approved method requires the pheresing of the blood and irradiation of the white cells only. In our opinion, based on Knott’s original work, pheresis of the blood is unnecessary, vastly more expensive and prone to complications. In fact, photoluminescence, in which the whole blood is exposed to UV light, may be more effective. There are many elements in the blood, other than the lymphocytes, that are photosensitive. Steroids, insulin, antibodies, porphyrins, some amino acids, liposomes, and many other substances in the blood are excited by UV light.
There’s bound to be a lot of resistance to ultraviolet blood irradiation as a valid method of treatment. At first blush, it seems to rank right up there with witch doctors and snake oil. But the concept of irradiating blood from an energy source is not new; since ultraviolet light is such an effective viricidal and bactericidal agent, its use as a blood irradiator has intrigued
investigators for many years.
In the late Nineteenth Century, attempts were made to irradiate thin layers of blood in Petri dishes exposed to mercury-vapor lamps. More extreme (and cumbersome) methods were also tried, such as stirring a quartz-rod applicator of a lamp in a beaker of blood, and even placing quartz rods directly into arteries. All these crude methods failed and probably served to discourage research in the field of human photobiology. Not until the work of Emmett K. Knott were the limits and optimal dosage of therapeutically applicable light determined.
The direct killing of bacteria in the blood stream in cases of septicemia was the initial objective of blood irradiation with ultraviolet light. Beginning in 1923, ultraviolet blood irradiation was tested in over 40 dogs for efficacy in septicemia. Spanning a period of three years, the method was proven safe and effective in the treatment of bacteremia of almost any type.
It was first assumed that the entire blood supply of the dog would have to be treated to eliminate the infection. But to the investigators’ surprise, although total blood irradiation returned a sterile blood, all the dogs died-apparently from shock. various experiments, which varied the volume exposed to radiation and the time of exposure, revealed that only 1/16th of the blood supply had to be irradiated for excellent results (1.0 ml per pound and a half of body weight). The length of exposure to the light could be varied within wide limits. Three minutes is recommended with the syringe method and, because of the larger volume of blood exposed and the more effective exposure, ten seconds with the continuous-flow, large-volume method. A brief description of the two methods of phototherapy will be given later.
An amazing amount of photonic energy is produced by the ultraviolet instrument. The photochemical effect has been found to be 925,000 ergs/cm2/sec. This is about one hundred times the energy of ambient sunlight. The photodynamic effect can be increased by the presence in the blood of the light-activating drug 8 Methoxy psoralan (8-MOP) and/or certain
photosensitive amino acids, herbs, dyes and porphyrin derivatives. This is referred to as
Many theories have been suggested as to why photon energy transferred to the blood is effective-cross-linking of DNA, increased oxygen saturation of cells, immune stimulation and others. Any or all of these explanations may be correct. But, although the mechanisms of 2 of 3 action of Photox are only partially understood, the astounding results speak for themselves.
Many clinicians and bench-side doctors feel uncomfortable using a method of therapy where the mechanism of action is unknown. But the truth is that we know very little about how ANY medical therapies work at the molecular and electromagnetic levels. General anesthesia has been in use for over a hundred years and we still have no mechanism for explaining the
fundamental processes. Its importance was of such overwhelming magnitude that even the medical bigotry of the day couldn’t stop it. After the usual rough beginning, this is certain to happen with photoluminescent therapy.
Miley demonstrated an amazing increase in blood oxygen absorption in total blood following irradiation when absorption was initially low. He found rapid increased of 60%, and an average increased oxygen absorption of 50%, thirty days after irradiation. This remarkable continuation of high blood oxygen has not been explained but it must play an important role in
the healing process that is observed’with the therapy.
In 1937 and 1938, Dr. Miley demonstrated that there was a decreased oxygen capacity in venous blood in many disease states. The rise in oxygen content of venous blood following ultraviolet irradiation, with no compensatory rise in hemoglobin or red-cell count which could possibly account for it, usually led to a dramatic improvement in the patient’s condition and almost immediate pinkening of the skin. We observe this “pinking up” routinely. Tachycardias due to anemia demonstrate a noticeable slowing of the heart within 15 minutes of blood irradiation with progressive improvement for several weeks. These changes were observed without drug intervention.
The relief of toxemia, such as in tetanus and botulism, remains a mystery but the lipid fraction of blood seems to be somehow involved. Chylomicrons in normal blood are minute, separate particles with normal Brownian movement. In toxemias, the chylomicrons are clumped and there is no Brownian movement. After ultraviolet blood irradiation, the clumps, in vitro and in
vivo, quickly break up and there is a rapid return to normal Brownian movement. The toxemia abates parallel with the improvement in the chylomicrons. one of the functions of chylomicrons is to absorb toxins which would explain why the dispersal of the chylomicrons leads to detoxification.
Whatever the mechanisms of action, the criteria for an acceptable therapy are met: (1) It is safe. (2) It is effective in a broad range of diseases. (3) There are no side effects. (4) It is relatively inexpensive.
Ultraviolet irradiation of blood has been approved by the FDA for the treatment -of cutaneous T Cell lymphoma. Thus the method is legal within the context of the FDA’s definition of legality. It is also legal from the standpoint of long (over 50 years) and continuous use by physicians in the United States as a commercially viable product before the present FDA was
even in existence.
Acute illnesses, such as the common cold, minor bacterial infections not requiring drainage, pneumonias, toxic conditions such as venomous snake bites and the childhood viral diseases, will usually respond within a few days of therapy on an outpatient basis. If using the intermittent ten cc syringe method, treat these minor illnesses twice a day. If the continuous flow, 1.0 ml of blood per pound and a half of body weight method is employed, a treatment every five days is adequate. With minor illnesses, one or two treatments by either method should be sufficient.
A 23- or 21-gauge butterfly needle is placed in an arm vein or the external juglar vein. Ten cc’s of whole blood is withdrawn into a pure quartz syringe, be careful because they are very expensive and quite fragile, and inserted into the Photolume instrument.
The syringe rotates slowly and is thus exposed to continuous ultraviolet light and other wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. The exposure time is three minutes. The radiated blood is then withdrawn from the Photolume and re-injected intravenously. The 3 of 3 original IV is kept open during the extracorporeal ultraviolet irradiation by a Heparin Lock or by a slow hydrogen peroxide (0.015% solution) drip. As previously explained, the increased oxygen level in the blood and tissues as a result of the H202 greatly enhances the effectiveness of the therapy.
Because of the mechanics involved, the syringe method requires about one and a half hours to complete. The IV hydrogen peroxide should be given slowly. This time can be used to repeat the ten ml blood irradiations as often as desired. The continuous-flow, large-volume method can be done in 30 minutes if done without using H202′
The continuous flow system (Photolume-III) is a modification of the old Knott Hemo-irradiator invented in the late 1930’s and applied to human disease in the 1940’s. It consists of a multiple light source which approximates sunlight, a pure quartz window over a baffle which agitates the blood, a pump, a blood filter, and an attached IV stand. The pump controls the
rate of flow.
The absorbed energy from the irradiation can have multiple effects. The absorbed energy may result in dissociation, fluorescence, simple dissipation of absorbed energy or a translating of light energy to the surrounding cells when re-injected. Important chemical effects produced by ultraviolet radiations are decomposition, rearrangements, such as cis-trans reactions and isomerizations, and sensitization (similar to photosynthesis in plants through the action of chlorophyll as the sensitizer). Ultraviolet rays also act as a powerful catalytic agent.
Photobiology and phototherapy have had little attention in the past 50 years, but with the advent of the New Age of Pestilence, with new disease organisms such as AIDS, Palestine Syndrome, HTLV-I and chlamydia, plus the counterattack of microbes we thought we had conquered, light therapy should become the treatment of choice for infectious diseases.
The prospects for photobiological treatment of degenerative diseases, such as arthritis and cancer, are immense. Preliminary results with photobiological therapy tend to confirm the belief that most of the diseases we see, degenerative or otherwise, are dependent, at least at their beginning, on some type of microorganism. The work of Karl Rosenow, M.D. , 50 years ago, on the infectious origin of rheumatoid arthritis, should have been the beginning of a therapeutic renaissance in medical therapy. But his work was largely ignored because doctors simply didn’t know what to do with the information he provided to them.
A clear and present danger to photobiological medicine has been dubbed the “Four Horsemen of the Apothecary” : (1) the drug companies, (2) the FDA, (3) the researchers who work for the drug companies and (4) the medical journal industry that works in collusion with the drug companies to brainwash us all.