Incorporation of photodynamic therapy as an induction modality in non-small cell lung cancer

Lasers Surg Med. 2006 Dec;38(10):881-9. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20444.


Background and objectives: Incorporation of photodynamic therapy (PDT) into the induction therapy regimen utilized for treatment of locally advanced primary non-small cell bronchogenic carcinoma (NSCLC) is explored.

Study design/materials and methods: We present a retrospective review of 41 patients diagnosed with non-metastatic NSCLC who underwent induction PDT with chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Results: Fifty percent of patients initially deemed unresectable, were able to undergo definitive surgical resection after trimodality induction therapy. Twenty-seven percent of patients considered to require pneumonectomy were able to have a lobectomy. The pathological stage was less than the preinduction clinical stage in 14 of 22 cases; of which four patients had no residual tumor. There was no 30/90-day postoperative mortality. Mean survival was 35.9 months (lobectomy), 25.5 months (pneumonectomy) and 14.7 months (no surgery). Median survival was 78% (12 months) and 46% (36 months). The main postoperative complication following pneumonectomy was bronchopleural fistula formation. All patients who developed this complication had undergone trimodality induction therapy. Incorporation of PDT into the induction arsenal for patients with loco-regionally advanced NSCLC may be safely performed.

Conclusions: PDT may define an alternative induction strategy for patients requiring pneumonectomy; further studies exploring the true efficacy of PDT as an induction modality are encouraged.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hematoporphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hematoporphyrins
  • Photosensitizing Agents