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Endre Mester

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Endre Mester
Born1903 November 20
Budapest, Hungary
CitizenshipAustro-Hungarian empire
Alma materUniversity of Pécs
Occupation(s)Physician, medical researcher
Known forTherapeutic use of lasers
ChildrenAdam, Andrew
Awards"Merited and Prominent Physician of the Hungarian People’s Republic", "The Golden Order of Labor" (twice; in 1958, and in 1978)

Hungarian physician Endre Mester (1903–1984) was a pioneer of laser medicine, especially the use of low level laser therapy (LLLT). In 1967, only a few years after the first working laser was invented, he started his experiments with the effects of lasers on skin cancer. He is credited as the discoverer of positive biological effects of low power lasers, which have been advocated as alternative medicine for use in wound healing, smoking cessation, tuberculosis, temporomandibular joint disorders, and musculoskeletal conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. LLLT devices are popular and may bring about temporary relief of some types of pain. As of 2009, a summary from Quackwatch reported medical authorities found no reason to believe LLLT influence the course of any ailment or are more effective for pain control than other forms of heat delivery.[1] Subsequent research has found LLLT may offer benefit in treating several health ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis,[2] osteoarthritis,[3] tendinopathy,[4] and frozen shoulders.[5]



Early life


Endre Mester was born on November 20, 1903, in Budapest, Hungary. He studied medicine at University of Pécs, Hungary until 1927. He then taught surgery at the Pazmany Peter University in Budapest, while working with Dr. Lajos Adam. He was certified both in surgery and in radiology.[6]

Later career


During World War II, Mester worked as a surgeon at Saint John's Hospital and in the "Rock Hospital", located in the tunnels underneath Castle Hill in Budapest.

Mester chaired the Surgery Department of the Bajcsy Zsilinszky Teaching Hospital in Budapest from 1947 until 1963. He publicly welcomed the 1956 Hungarian uprising against Communism yet, when it failed, he was not persecuted because of his important medical work.

In 1963, he became Professor and Department Chair at the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest, and worked there until his retirement in 1973. In 1971, he received the "Doctor of Sciences" title from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Laser research


Mester started his laser research in 1965. In 1974 he founded the Laser Research Center at Semmelweis, and continued working there for the remainder of his life.[6]

He is credited with the discovery of low level laser therapy.[7]

Mester's publications on the biostimulatory effects of the low intensity laser started in 1967.[8] He performed early science experiments on the biological effects of laser irradiation. While applying lasers to the backs of shaven mice, Mester noticed that the shaved hair grew back more quickly on the treated group than the untreated group. Mester is believed to be only the fourth physician publishing in the area of laser medicine and surgery.

In 1971, he began treating patients with non-healing skin ulcers, while using Low Intensity Laser Irradiation.

Mester is the author of over 100 published articles in his areas of research. His two sons, Adam Mester, M.D. a radiologist, and Andrew Mester, M.D., an otolaryngologist, later assisted him in his work.

Professional positions

  • President of the Hungarian Society of Surgeons (for 8 years)
  • President of the International Soft Laser Society
  • Vice President of the Red Cross Committee of Budapest


  1. ^ Barrett, S (2009-07-17). "A Skeptical Look at Low Level Laser Therapy". Quackwatch. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  2. ^ Brosseau, L.; Welch, V.; Wells, G. A.; de Bie, R.; Gam, A.; Harman, K.; Morin, M.; Shea, B.; Tugwell, P. (2005). "Low level laser therapy (Classes I, II and III) for treating rheumatoid arthritis". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010 (4): CD002049. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002049.pub2. PMC 8406947. PMID 16235295. S2CID 40986179.
  3. ^ Stausholm, Martin Bjørn; Naterstad, Ingvill Fjell; Joensen, Jon; Lopes-Martins, Rodrigo Álvaro Brandão; Sæbø, Humaira; Lund, Hans; Fersum, Kjartan Vibe; Bjordal, Jan Magnus (2019-10-28). "Efficacy of low-level laser therapy on pain and disability in knee osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo-controlled trials". BMJ Open. 9 (10): e031142. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031142. ISSN 2044-6055. PMC 6830679. PMID 31662383.
  4. ^ Haslerud, Sturla; Magnussen, Liv Heide; Joensen, Jon; Lopes-Martins, Rodrigo Alvaro Brandao; Bjordal, Jan Magnus (2015-06-01). "The efficacy of low-level laser therapy for shoulder tendinopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials". Physiotherapy Research International. 20 (2): 108–125. doi:10.1002/pri.1606. hdl:1956/17899. ISSN 1471-2865. PMID 25450903.
  5. ^ Page, MJ; Green, S; Kramer, S; Johnston, RV; McBain, B; Buchbinder, R (Oct 1, 2014). "Electrotherapy modalities for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014 (10): CD011324. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011324. PMC 10898218. PMID 25271097. S2CID 32666794.
  6. ^ a b "Celebrating the 100th birthday of Professor Endre Mester". Laser World. Swedish Laser-Medical Society. April 18, 2004. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Perera, Judith (19 March 1987). "The 'healing laser' comes into the limelight'". New Scientist.
  8. ^ Mester, E.; Szende, B.; Tota, J.G. (1967). "Effect of laser on hair growth of mice". Kiserl Orvostud. 19: 628–631.

Further reading