Light Therapy for Cancer Treatment

NASA Research Illuminates Medical Uses of Light

Experimentation helped demystify, legitimize, and simplify medical uses for long-known but little-understood light therapy.

Can light help a wound heal faster? Alleviate pain? Prevent loss of eyesight?

Although decades of studies indicate it can – including extensive research funded by NASA – the mounting evidence hasn’t always drawn the attention that might be expected for such a striking discovery.

This may be because the science behind it hasn’t been well understood. For example, although a Danish physician received a Nobel Prize in 1903 for discovering that exposure to concentrated red light accelerated the healing of sores, he remained reluctant to put it into practice without understanding why it worked.

A larger barrier to acceptance, though, has probably been that it simply sounds unbelievable.

In a 1989 paper about the health benefits of low-powered laser light, biophysicist Tiina Karu noted that the treatment appeared “highly incredible and even mysterious.” What’s more, she wrote, its effectiveness against many different ailments only added to doubts by creating the appearance of a proverbial snake-oil panacea.

Read more from the NASA Technology Transfer Program.»

Interview with Rico Petrini: his experience with light therapy for symptoms of repetitive head impacts and potential CTE

In an interview, Rico Petrini discusses his potential CTE and his positive experience as a participant in a photobiomodulation study conducted by The University of Utah TBI and Concussion Center, Department of Neurology School of Medicine. The study authors are finalizing the data for their study, Use of PBM to Improve Brain Health and Resiliency in Individuals with Repetitive Head Hits: A Pilot Study.

Rico spoke with Concussion Alliance Co-founders and Co-executive Directors Malayka Gormally and Conor Gormally on January 18th, 2022.

Read more and watch the interview on


Shepherd University Expands Wellness Center With Laser Pain Treatment

Shepherd University officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday for the expansion of a pain clinic at the school.

The clinic uses a process called photobiomodulation, or PBM. It uses laser light therapy to reduce pain from degenerative diseases.

A PBM bed is included in the university’s Wellness Center expansion and will be used to help those in and around the school’s community. The school received $500,000 through the state’s federal COVID relief funds for the clinic’s expansion.

Read more from the author, Shepherd Snyder on

Doctors Increase Use of Light Therapy to Manage Pain

The opioid epidemic has led medical professionals and patients to explore alternatives to potentially addictive pharmaceuticals, such as light therapy.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, a form of light therapy using red and near-infrared light to stimulate cell growth and reduce inflammation, is gradually gaining acceptance by the medical community. The noninvasive technology, discovered in 1967, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manage pain and treat a variety of medical conditions.

Patients receive therapy several times a week for several weeks before they see pain relief.

Read more from the Author Kevin Stone on Heartland Daily News.

Photobiomodulation: Evaluation in a wide range of medical specialties underway

Advances in photobiomodulation have propelled the use of therapeutic applications in a variety of medical specialties, according to Juanita J. Anders, PhD.

During the annual conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Anders, professor of anatomy, physiology, and genetics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md., defined photobiomodulation (PBM) as the mechanism by which nonionizing optical radiation in the visible and near-infrared spectral range is absorbed by endogenous chromophores to elicit photophysical and photochemical events at various biological scales. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) involves the use of light sources including lasers, LEDs, and broadband light, that emit visible and/or near-infrared light to cause physiological changes in cells and tissues and result in therapeutic benefits.

Read more on or download the PDF

Shining a Light on Mucositis

A new study conducted by St. Jude Nursing Research uses a painless therapy to help children avoid a common side effect of bone marrow transplantation.

Read More on or download the PDF

Photo by Justin Veneman.

Tug McGraw Foundation-Supported Study Provides Hope for Improving Cognitive Function in Veterans

A recently published Tug McGraw Foundation-funded study found that the use of red and near-infrared light therapy improved cerebral blood flow and cognitive functions in veterans with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI). The landmark study is among the first to demonstrate objective evidence for the reversal of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) deficits in chronic TBI patients. Independent researchers, in collaboration with brain imaging and analytics company CereScan® Corp., used quantitative functional brain imaging and neuropsychological assessments to analyze the therapy’s effectiveness.

Read more at or download the PDF

PBM Now Recommended for Treating Pain

JAMA lists low-level laser therapy as a recommended option for treating low back pain lasting more than 12 weeks.

—JAMA Patient Page



PBM Therapy and Wound Management Training Course a Success at Shep University 


The Missions Tribune, June 16 – 30, 2021 | An interactive training course was offered at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown West Virginia. The course outlined a model for understanding Photobiomodulation Therapy mechanisms, discussed protocols, and reviewed case studies showing the effectiveness of PBMT as applied for wound care and oral mucositis. 

PBMT has proven successful in areas that other therapies have not. PBM is the application of red and near-infra-red light over wounds, injuries, and joints to improve healing, relieve acute and chronic pain, and reduce inflammation. The application of monochromatic light also helps to induce tissue repair and has even helped reduce depression. 

Published clinical evidence has shown the success of low-level laser therapy over many patients with issues from neck and other pain injuries to reduced opioid cravings in opioid use disorder patients.

Over 6,000 papers have proven PBMT reduces swelling and helps wounded areas recover faster. It helps reduce oxidative stress and improves cell metabolism. Another benefit is the light can be produced by laser or high-intensity LEDs. Unlike surgical lasers, PBM lasers have no heating effect. 

James Carroll, founder and CEO of Thor Photomedicine, Ltd, Dr. Praveen Arany, B.D.S., M.D.S., M.M.Sc., PhD., Assistant Professor, Oral Biology and Biomedical Engineering School of Dental Medicine, Engineering and Applied Sciences University of Buffalo, N.Y., and Dr. Robert Bowen, M.D. Berkeley Medical Center Wound Care, Martinsburg, W.V. were speakers at the Erma Ora Byrd Hall. The program was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an award IMPACT grant totaling $2.7 million. 

Those in attendance, including 30 nursing students were shown the history of PBM, PBM mechanisms, and evidence for PBM in wound care, implementing PBM in wound clinics, dose and delivery in PBM treatment, a review of clinical cases, and demonstration and experiential learning with a PBM device. 

Over 30 million treatments have been done worldwide with no side effects. A medical staff can be up to speed quickly on how to use the equipment. In a previous interview with The Missions Tribune James Carroll said, “We do full training in one day. We run training courses all over the U.S., all over the world.” 

West Virginia is a leading state in opioids addiction. Shepherd University hopes to continue to use the Health Resources and Service Administration’s IMPACT Grant in part to help to find new ways of dealing with opioid addiction with patients that have suffered injuries.