Photodynamic Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Photodynamic Therapy for Non-Small Cell Lung CancerNon-small cell lung cancer is a deadly disease taking away the lives of many people each year.  There are various treatment methods available for lung cancer. One of them is Photodynamic Therapy. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a treatment for lung cancer that uses bronchoscopy to destroy lung cancer cells. It is a process where the special chemical is injected into the blood stream. This chemical is absorbed by cells and the laser aims to kill the cancer cells. Typically, it is a pain-free treatment and involves less risk than surgery.

About PDT

Two kinds of photosensitizers are used and the most common is Photofrin. The other photosensitizer is mono-I-aspartyly chlorine e6.  PDT is approved for the relief of various symptoms associated with non-small cell lung cancer such as breathing problems or bleeding. It is used for treating non-small cell lung cancers that have not spread beyond the lungs. PDT can also help the patients by destroying blood vessels that feed the cancer cells.

Process

PDT begins with the injection of a light-sensitive medication into the vein. After few days, a thin and lighted tube called bronchoscope is passed through the mouth into the lungs. This helps to destroy the cells that have absorbed light-sensitive medication. Also, it takes just minutes to complete. With PDT, one can target the lung cancer very precisely.

Limitations

As we have already discussed, PDT is not effective for lung cancer treatments when the cancer has spread beyond the lungs. Also, it is not recommended where tumors cannot be reached by bronchoscope. PDT cannot be used to treat large cancers. It can also be not used in people who have certain blood diseases.

The most common side effect of bronchoscopy treatment is the sensitivity to bright light. This typically lasts for four to six weeks.

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The information offered in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.

2 comments
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