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Photodynamic therapy for lung cancer

Photodynamic therapy for lung cancer

Photodynamic therapy for lung cancer can be performed on an outpatient basis, is relatively pain-free, requires minimal sedation, involves less risk than surgery and has minimal side effects because healthy tissue is spared. PDT also takes just minutes to complete.

What is photodynamic therapy?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a bronchoscopy procedure that uses light-activated drugs and a laser to destroy cancer cells and treat symptomatic tissues.

PDT can be repeated on the same area, unlike radiation and chemotherapy, which makes it a good option for treating tumors that recur. The most common side effect of this bronchosopy treatment is sensitivity to bright light, which lasts four to six weeks.

To conduct the procedure, your doctor will first inject a photosensitizing agent to make cells more sensitive to light. The drugs are absorbed by cancer cells over the course of a couple of days. Next, your doctor applies laser light to the airway using bronchoscopy-guidance. When the laser is turned on, it shines on the tumor and reacts with photosensitized cells to destroy them.