Photodynamic Therapy for Lung Cancer | MyLungCancerTeam

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Photodynamic therapy uses a combination of medication and light to kill cancer cells. It is also known as photoradiation therapy, phototherapy, or photochemotherapy. It’s used as a treatment for early-stage lung cancer in which tumors are only present on the outside of the lungs. It’s also used to treat more advanced lung cancer by reducing the size of tumors inside airways, which helps ease breathing.

What does it involve?
A light-activated drug called porfimer sodium (sold under the brand name Photofrin) is injected into the veins. This drug collects more in cancerous tissue than in normal tissue. After a few days to allow the drug to settle in the tissues, you will either be sedated or placed under general anesthesia. A tube called a bronchoscope will be passed down the throat and into the lungs. The bronchoscope has a camera and laser light attached to it, allowing a physician to see tumors and activate the Photofrin in them using the light. Over the next several days, the tumor cells will die. Afterward, these cells will be removed from the airway with another bronchoscopy.

Side effects
Common side effects of photodynamic therapy include swelling, shortness of breath, sensitivity to light, rashes, and immune reactions.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Palliative Procedures for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer — American Cancer Society

Photodynamic Therapy To Treat Cancer — National Cancer Institute

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