[BME Colloquium] Photodynamic Theraphy in Patient with Lung Cancer
  • Chul Ho Oak, M.D., Ph.D. (Kosin University)
  • SLS Colloquia / May 29th 04:00pm / EB1 E104
Photodynamic therapy or PDT is a treatment that uses special drugs, called photosensitizing agents, along with light to kill cancer cells. The drugs only work after they have been activated or “turned on” by certain kinds of light. PDT may also be called photoradiation therapyphototherapy, or photochemotherapy. Depending on the part of the body being treated, the photosensitizing agent is either put into the bloodstream through a vein or put on the skin. Over a certain amount of time the drug is absorbed by the cancer cells. Then light is applied to the area to be treated. The light causes the drug to react with oxygen, which forms a chemical that kills the cells. PDT might also help by destroying the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells and by alerting the immune system to attack the cancer.The period of time between when the drug is given and when the light is applied is called the drug-to-light interval. It can be anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on the drug used. PDT has been used in people with cancer to help them live longer and improve their quality of life. Although PDT works and causes no long-term problems, it’s not widely used to treat cancer today. Still, it is offered in some treatment centers, and is being studied in many clinical trials. It’s becoming more widely recognized as a valuable treatment option for localized cancers (cancers that have not spread far from where they started). PDT is also used to treat pre-cancers of the skin, and is being tested against pre-cancers in the mouth, larynx (voice box) and other places. Three photosensitizing agents are currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain cancers or pre-cancers. Researchers are also looking more closely at how PDT works and how the cancer cells respond to its effects. Understanding how cells respond to PDT may allow doctors to enhance those effects that promote cancer cell death and suppress or counteract those that protect the cancer cells. There may also be ways to pre-treat the tumor to make it more susceptible to certain PDT treatments.