Photodynamic Therapy for Mesothelioma

Todd Demmy, MD, clinical chair, Department of Thoracic Surgery, professor of oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, discusses photodynamic therapy for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Todd Demmy, MD, clinical chair, Department of Thoracic Surgery, professor of oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, discusses photodynamic therapy for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Clinical Pearls:

  • With photodynamic therapy, patients are given a drug that concentrates in tumor cells. A special light is then used to active the chemical, which kills the tumor cell.
  • This therapy is useful for diseases that are hard to treat surgically and is currently being used to treat mesothelioma
  • After a tumor is removed from a mesothelioma patient, the photodynamic agent photofrin is given to the patient and photodynamic therapy is performed to treat the microscopic cancer that is left behind
  • This reduces the stress and complications of surgery that are usually associated with mesothelioma surgery