Endobronchial photodynamic therapy for lung cancer

Lasers Surg Med. 2006 Jun;38(5):364-70. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20354.


Background and objective: Endobronchial photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive technique for the palliation of major airway obstruction from lung cancer, and for the treatment of endobronchial microinvasive lung cancer.

Study design: Results of reported clinical trials were compared, and the author's preliminary results with second generation photosensitizers were also reviewed.

Results: A review of the clinical experience with endobronchial PDT is provided. Potential advantages of PDT include the duration of palliation achieved through the delayed cellular effects of PDT within tumor. Side-effects from FDA-approved photosensitizer (Photofrin, Porfimer sodium, Axcan Scandipharm, Montreal, Quebec) include skin photosensitivity. HPPH (2-[1-hexyloxyethyl]-2 devinyl pyropheophorbide) is an example of a second-generation photosensitize that shows promise in the treatment of lung cancer, and appears to be free from significant skin photosensitivity.

Conclusion: PDT is an effective tool for the palliation of endobronchial lung cancers which obstruct the central airways and is also effective for the treatment of central microinvasive carcinoma and carcinoma in situ of the central airways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / drug therapy*
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Palliative Care
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / chemically induced
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Photosensitizing Agents