Our vision is to beat cancer with light.

We’ve developed a natural approach to cancer treatments with our non-invasive, patented light technology that delivers therapeutic light energy deeper into tissues than previously thought possible.
Illumacell device

Illumacell is a privately-held clinical stage biotech company with its head office in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. We have developed a better and safer approach to Photodynamic Therapy.


Our mission is to develop and advance the widespread use of Illumacell light devices for clinical cancer protocols, partnering with hospitals and clinics worldwide. The company is currently seeking regulatory approvals and financing to advance this mission.
Photodynamic Therapy PDT Cancer Treatment

Our Science

Illumacell’s breakthrough technology has the potential to non-invasively deliver photodynamic therapy for cancer-treatments far deeper into body tissues without the need for surgery or other invasive approaches. 

Our cancer treatment protocols use a combination of our patented “Wall-of-Light™” technology and a safe, off-patent drug (5-ALA) that produces a targetable photosensitive molecule (PpIX). This molecule accumulates in cancerous tissues and when exposed to Illumacell’s medical light technology, immediately destroys the cancerous cells literally from the inside out. Cancer cells lack the ability to further metabolize the photosensitive PpIX while healthy tissues will quickly metabolize it away. The natural removal of the photosensitizer from healthy tissues before applying light to the area is one of several reasons why Illumacell PDT is the safer alternative. 

Illumacell’s light device incorporates multiple features to provide enhanced control over PDT variables to deliver photons to deep-seated tumors without damaging skin, providing a relatively inexpensive and non-invasive approach for cancer treatment.

Read more about how Illumacell technology works
illumacell treatment example

“The Illumacell photodynamic treatment of mice with a subcutaneous malignant breast cancer resulted in a dramatic reduction in the size or outright elimination of the tumor. On histological analysis a remarkable inflammatory response coincided with the reduction or elimination of the tumor. The data from the pathological analysis indicate that the Illumacell treatment is responsible for the mounting of a remarkable and effective inflammatory response of the animal body that can result in complete elimination of the malignant tumor.”

Jacek M. Kwiecien DVM, MSc, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine
Veterinary Research Pathologist & Clinical Veterinarian
McMaster University


Preclinical mouse modelling studies conducted with researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, highlighted the potential of non-invasive light delivery for cancer therapy at depth in combination with the off-patent  prodrug (5-ALA). 

Illumacell is currently engaged in early stage clinical studies. A pilot safety study approved by Health Canada is ongoing at Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, Alberta under a Health Canada Investigational Testing Authorization aimed at treating chronic foot ulcers and pain. In addition, Illumacell is sponsoring and supporting physicians and clinical activities under the Health Canada Special Access Program (SAP) for medical devices to exclusively treat advanced cancer patients on compassionate grounds, or when conventional therapies have failed, are unavailable, or are unsuitable.

More clinical study information

Illumacell Clinical Milestones

Clinical Milestones


Illumacell Inc was founded by LED light expert Tom Kerber who had been approached by the pioneer physician Dr. George Strobele who had understood the potential for PDT treatments with 5-ALA. At the time, 5-ALA was still under the patent control of a company using 5-ALA topically for acne treatment purposes. Tom Kerber developed a prototype light device for Dr. Strobele who then used the device to treat multiple patients where all hope had been lost. Illumacell was created and patents were filed. Dr. Strobele was quite encouraged by his results, but all data maintained by Dr. Strobele was lost when he tragically passed too soon.

Undeterred, Tom knew that his technology had the potential to beat cancer with light. Illumacell continues with this mission. 

Illumacell Leadership

Michael Ben
Michael Ben, CPA, CA, CF
Jeff Hummel, Ph.D.
VP Regulatory and Clinical Affairs
Tom Kerber
Founder & CTO
Robert Zawydiwski
Robert Zawydiwskii, Ph.D.
Vice President Science
View board and advisor bios