Purpose: Photodynamic therapy after intravenous injection of Photofrin (QLT Phototherapeutics, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) results in a contracted bladder and skin photosensitivity, which limits its clinical application. In an attempt to overcome these limitations photodynamic therapy after intravesical instillation of Photofrin or 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in an orthotopic rat bladder tumor model was explored and compared with intravenous Photofrin for photodynamic therapy efficacy and phototoxicity.
Materials and methods: At 2 weeks after bladder implantation of 1.5 x 10(6) AY-27 tumor cells animals were randomly grouped. Photofrin was administered (5 mg./kg. intravenously and 2 mg./ml. intravesically). The ALA concentration for intravesical instillation was 300 mM. Whole bladder photodynamic therapy with graded doses of light (lambda = 630 nm.) was performed 4 hours after drug administration. Tumor control and complications were evaluated.
Results: Photodynamic therapy with intravenous Photofrin plus 100 J./cm.(2) light resulted in severe bladder damage. Of 10 rats 6 died and 2 of the 10 that received 50 J./cm.(2) died. There were no photodynamic therapy related deaths in groups receiving intravesical instillation of Photofrin or ALA that also received 50 to 100 J./cm.(2) Median survival in rats treated with ALA intravesically plus 75 J./cm.(2) (77 days), Photofrin intravesically plus 50 (67) or 100 J./cm.(2) (76) and Photofrin intravenously plus 50 J./cm.(2) (60) were significantly different from that in controls (44).
Conclusions: Intravesical instillation of Photofrin or ALA can achieve the same photodynamic therapy efficacy as intravenous Photofrin in this orthotopic rat bladder tumor model with less phototoxicity to normal tissues.