Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Plus LIFE

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Pioneering Lung Cancer Treatment

Fox Chase is at the forefront of cancer treatment using technology called photodynamic therapy (PDT) for lung cancer. This non-invasive treatment targets cancer cells without damaging healthy ones and without severe side effects. PDT works best with early stage lung cancers, but it can also be used in conjunction with other lung cancer treatments. It cannot treat cancer cells that have spread elsewhere in the body.

Alternative to Surgery

Results from clinical trials for photodynamic therapy have proven it to be a safe and effective for selected patients (who refuse surgery) with less discomfort, minimal side effects and rapid response. The main side effect patients experience from this lung cancer treatment is a temporary sensitivity to light and the sun.

PDT with Photofrin

PDT combined with the drug photofrin has proven to be effective for patients with early tumors of the lung, obstructing tumors of the esophagus, severe dysplasia with Barrett's esophagus or early, localized gastric carcinoma. In this outpatient procedure, patients receive an injection of a photosensitive drug that is retained by cancerous tissues. Two days later, a fiberoptic probe is inserted into the tumor or nearby area. Next, laser-generated beams of red light are delivered, causing the lung cancer to be destroyed by a photochemical reaction.

LIFE with PDT - Combining Detection and Treatment

Pairing PDT with LIFE provides a double hit against early and small lung cancer tumors. This is because LIFE detects and targets otherwise invisible clusters of minimally invasive cancerous or precancerous tumors to be destroyed.

Only a few cancer centers nationwide offer the combination of LIFE plus PDT. Fox Chase is the only lung cancer treatment center in the region to offer this combination of lung cancer detection and treatment technologies.

For more information about PDT, LIFE or the proper course of interventional bronchoscopic treatment, please call Michael Unger, MD, at 215-728-5703.

For more information about lung cancer treatment and prevention at Fox Chase Cancer Center, call 215-214-3271.