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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Laser therapy may boost vaccine potency

Visit spurs Mass. General doctor to pursue treatment

The Cold War had been over for well over a decade when a Boston physician arrived in St. Petersburg to visit a Russian military medical clinic, as part of a US State Department effort to steer former Soviet scientists away from biological weapons and toward peaceful research that could be commercialized.

He found doctors using a powerful, potentially explosive laser designed for military applications to treat patients with advanced kidney cancer. They shone the laser light onto patients’ backs, sometimes raising small welts, and then injected them with vaccines prepared from their own tumor cells.

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