Listen to Dr. Mark Lund explain the purpose and benefits of photodynamic therapy. This type of therapy is commonly used to treat lung cancer and esophageal cancer.
Dr. Mark Lund: Photodynamic Therapy is one of the tools that we again use here for Cancer Treatment Centers of America patients. The actual procedure is several steps. The first step is that the drug is infused on a Monday. And we then use a bronchoscope where we use a cold laser to activate this drug. Between when the drug is given and when we activate it, it accumulates in cancer cells, but it is washed out of most other cells therefore it’s relatively tumor specific. The cold light actually stimulates this drug which winds up killing the cancer cells by several mechanisms. At that point as the cancer starts to die we go back in on Friday and we take out the dead caner and what is known as sluff. We typically reactivate the drug a second time at that sitting and on that following Monday we go back in and to take out more dead cancer. The benefit is that its relatively tumor specific and the second is that there has been some data in the literature to suggest that it controls the recurrences of tumor in the air way for a longer period of time.