Photodynamic therapy for dysplastic Barrett esophagus and early esophageal adenocarcinoma

Mayo Clin Proc. 2002 Nov;77(11):1176-81. doi: 10.4065/77.11.1176.


Objective: To evaluate our results using photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of dysplasia or superficial cancer (T1 N0 M0) in patients with Barrett esophagus.

Patients and methods: We retrospectively reviewed our clinical experience with 48 patients (34 patients with high-grade dysplasia and 14 patients with superficial cancer in Barrett esophagus) who had been referred for PDT. Initial evaluation included computed tomography and standard and high-frequency catheter endosonography. Follow-up endoscopy was performed 4 to 6 weeks after PDT with ablation of any residual glandular mucosa, using the argon plasma coagulator. Patients were then followed up indefinitely every 3 to 6 months with computed tomography, endosonography, and endoscopic surveillance.

Results: The median series follow-up was 18.5 months (range, 1-56 months). Apparent complete photoablation of Barrett mucosa and/or superficial neoplasm was documented in 47 of 48 cases. Complications included symptomatic strictures (11 patients), photosensitivity (7 patients), atrial fibrillation (1 patient) or recurrent congestive heart failure (1 patient), and self-limited esophageal perforation (1 patient). Failure to ablate T1 N0 M0 adenocarcinoma occurred in 1 patient.

Conclusions: Porfimer sodium PDT appears to eradicate dysplastic Barrett mucosa and neoplasia. These results are promising; however, long-term studies are needed to document the efficacy of PDT in reducing the morbidity and mortality in such patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / drug therapy*
  • Barrett Esophagus / mortality
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cohort Studies
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome