Ultraviolet blood irradiation being revisited by scientists

We have been doing more research on this treatment recently and are enrolling patients in a clinical trial we are part of. Below is an abstract from a professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Apr;157:89-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Ultraviolet blood irradiation: Is it time to remember "the cure that time forgot"? Wu X(1), Hu X(2), Hamblin MR(3). Author information: (1)Department of Emergency, First Affiliated College & Hospital, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning 530021, China; Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. (2)Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China. (3)Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: Hamblin@helix.mgh.harvard.edu.

Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) was extensively used in the 1940s and 1950s to treat many diseases including septicemia, pneumonia, tuberculosis, arthritis, asthma, and even poliomyelitis. The early studies were carried out by several physicians in USA and published in the American Journal of Surgery. However, with the development of antibiotics, the use of UBI declined and it has now been called "the cure that time forgot." Later studies were mostly performed by Russian workers, and in other Eastern countries, and the modern view in Western countries is that UBI remains highly controversial. This review discusses the potential of UBI as an alternative approach to current methods used to treat infections, as an immune-modulating therapy and as a method for normalizing blood parameters. Low and mild doses of UV kill microorganisms by damaging the DNA, while any DNA damage in host cells can be rapidly repaired by DNA repair enzymes. However, the use of UBI to treat septicemia cannot be solely due to UV-mediated killing of bacteria in the bloodstream, as only 5-7% of blood volume needs to be treated with UV to produce the optimum benefit, and higher doses can be damaging. There may be some similarities to extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) using psoralens and UVA irradiation. However, there are differences between UBI and ECP in that UBI tends to stimulate the immune system, while ECP tends to be immunosuppressive. With the recent emergence of bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, UBI should be more investigated as an alternative approach to infections, and as an immune-modulating therapy. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.