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Photodynamic Cancer Therapy at Fuda Cancer Hospital, Guangzhou, China

First, the patient is prescribed an intravenous injection of a photosensitizer in the ward. The photosensitizer accumulates locally in the tumor cells, as the blood flows throughout the body. Before treatment, the patient should remain indoors to avoid exposure to sunlight.

In general, the patient will be transferred to a dark room for treatment 40-90 hours after the injection of the photosensitizer. General anesthesia is usually required. Using a gastroscope or colonoscopy, a red laser beam with a wavelength of 630 nm can be directed through fiber optic cables to deliver light to the tumor. The photosensitizer in the tumor will be stimulated, and then transfer energy to the surrounding oxygen to generate singlet oxygen with strong activity. Singlet oxygen can interact with a neighboring biomacromolecule to produce a cytotoxic effect that destroys tumor cells.

In Fuda Cancer Hospital, the photodynamic therapy procedure takes about 30-60 minutes. The patient will be awake after the procedure, but he will need to be controlled in the treatment room for another half hour. After that, if the vital signs are normal, the patient will be transferred back to the ward. After treatment, a clear necrosis in the tumor can be detected.

The light needed to activate most photosensitizers can only pass through 7 mm of tissue. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct another PDT session for the tumor, which is deeper than 7 mm, after the necrotic tumor separates.

The benefits of photodynamic therapy

1) Minimally invasive.

Using interventional methods such as laser fiber cable and endoscopy, a red laser beam can be directed to treat a tumor, thereby avoiding injuries and pain caused by thoracotomy and laparotomy;

2) Low toxicity.

A photodynamic response can only be triggered when photosensitizers with a certain concentration are exposed to red laser radiation. PDT primarily targets a tumor in the illuminated area and therefore causes minimal damage to surrounding normal tissue.

3) Re-treatment.

Since tumor cells are not resistant to photosensitizers, and there is no increase in the toxic reaction on the part of the patient, a PDT session can be repeated.

4) Palliative treatment.

For patients with surgery intolerance (for example, advanced stage cancer, old age, heart / lung / liver / kidney and hemophilia dysfunction), PDT is a palliative therapy that can effectively relieve pain, improve quality of life and extend life expectancy.

5) The result of the interaction.

For some tumors, surgical removal may be the first step. Then the patient can receive PDT to further eliminate residual cancer cells, reduce the recurrence rate and increase the completeness of the operation; for other tumors, PDT can be done first. The patient may then undergo surgical removal to expand the indications for surgery and increase the effectiveness of the operation.


The cost of photodynamic therapy is $ 8500.

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