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How does photopheresis work?

Photopheresis works by turning off malfunctioning white blood cells. In photopheresis, a nurse attaches a thin tube to a line that has already been placed in the chest. The other end of the tube is connected to the photopheresis machine. Blood travels through the tube to the machine, which separates red cells from the white cells. The red blood cells go straight back into the bloodstream. The white cells stay in the machine for the next part of the treatment. Next, medicine is added to the white blood cells. To work properly, the medicine has to be activated first. Ultraviolet light from the photopheresis machine activates the medicine. The medicine switches off the malfunctioning white blood cells. After that, the white blood cells are returned to the bloodstream.

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