Cancer Treatment

PDT uses lasers in combination with a photosensitive drug to provide a highly targeted cancer treatment. It can be used in combination with traditional cancer treatments such as radio and chemo-therapy, or in some instances may be the primary treatment, thus avoiding some of the more unpleasant side-effects of more aggressive and less targeted treatments. Work continues to refine and improve PDT and expand its use in more parts of the body, and in combination with photo-detection to ensure timely and thorough interventions. A growing number of PDT treatments are now approved by NICE following the work undertaken by The Trust.

PDT has emerged as one of the most effective cancer treatments because it is:

  • Target-oriented therapy: essentially destroying cancer and sparing the normal cell thus producing little or no collateral damage.

  • It is effective against a variety of cancers.

  • PDT can be used in conjunction with standard cancer therapy

  • PDT is a minimally invasive treatment and can be carried out as a day surgery procedure

  • PDT can be repeated

  • PDT is safe and can be carried out in patients not suitable for other methods of therapy.

PDT uses a combination of a photosensitive drug and light to provide a highly targeted cancer treatment. It can be used in combination with traditional cancer treatments such as radio and chemo-therapy, or in some instances may be the primary treatment, thus avoiding some of the more unpleasant side-effects of more aggressive and less targeted treatments. Work continues to refine and improve PDT and expand its use in more parts of the body, and in combination with photo-detection to ensure timely and thorough interventions. A growing number of PDT treatments are now approved by NICE following the work undertaken by The Trust.

Currently PDT is used for the treatment of:

  • Bronchogenic (lung) cancer

  • Cancer of the oesophagus

  • Some urothelial cancers

  • Gynaecological cancers

  • Non-melanoma skin cancer/Bowens disease

  • Local recurrence of breast cancer

  • Colo-rectal cancer

  • Brain tumours

Research is progressing in other areas.

 

NICE has provided guidelines on PDT (www.nice.org.uk)

 

See also Cancer Research UK for advice on cancer treatment (www.cancerresearchuk.org)