Advances in photodynamic therapy for the treatment of head and neck cancers

M. Biel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an FDA-approved minimally invasive medical treatment modality that utilizes light in the presence of oxygen to activate photosensitizing agents that are relatively selectively concentrated in abnormal or neoplastic cells resulting in cell death. At the present time, PDT has been approved for clinical treatment in the United States, European Union, Canada, Russia, and Japan. In the United States, US Food and Drug administration approval has been given for the use of PDT in the treatment of Barrett's esophagus, obstructing esophageal carcinoma and early and obstructing tracheobronchial carcinoma using the photosensitizer Photofrin; actinic keratosis using the photosensitizer Levulan (aminolevulinic acid); and macular degeneration using the photosensitizer BPD. In the EU the above noted indications have also been approved in addition to the treatment of early head and neck cancers and palliative treatment of head and neck cancer using the photosensitizer Foscan; and treatment of basal and squamous cell skin cancers using the photosensitizer Metvix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Head and neck
  • Photodynamic therapy


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