PDT Cancer Treatment Program

(PDT = PhotoDynamic Therapy, a light-activated chemotherapy)

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updated Jan. 1, 1999

A new cancer treatment program based on PDT (PhotoDynamic Therapy) has been established in the Pacific Northwest. The initial treatment facility is at the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, with future activities at the Oregon Health Sciences University and the Chiles Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center.

PhotoDynamic Therapy is a form of light-activated chemotherapy. The patient is administered a

    photosensitizing drug

which accumulates selectively in cancerous tissues. The drug has no action unless activated by


Light is delivered endoscopically via an optical fiber to activate the photosensitizer only where treatment is needed. Hence, the light activation controls the region of treatment. This form of chemotherapy is more surgical in nature (directed against a known site) than oncologic in nature (directed systemically against unknown sites).

Click here for Information for patients

esophageal PDT
We are routinely providing FDA-approved PDT treatments for obstructive and partially obstructive esophageal cancer. The goal is palliation to improve swallowing. We are also using PDT to treat laryngeal cancer in an Internal Review Board-approved investigational protocol. The goal is eradication of superficial and small tumors of the larynx, thereby avoiding surgery. talkinglungs.gif The FDA has approved PDT for treatment of lung cancer . The FDA has approved treatment of microinvasive endobronchial non-small cell lung cancer in patients who are not indicated for surgery and radiotherapy.
PR Newswire release from QLT (Jan 9, 1998) announces the FDA Action.

Update: FDA approves PDT for late stage lung cancer

Jump to news on lung cancer.
Clinical trials on other types of cancers are being developed and specific programs will be announced on this web site. We intend to pursue PDT for prostate cancer and Barrett's esophagus. Dermatology applications will be developed in the dermatology site of the OMLC at the Dept. of Dermatology, Oregon Health Sciences University. Will post announcement when program is ready for patients.
Patient Information | Articles on PDT | How to contact us | PDT front page | Home

Prepared by Steven L. Jacques, Ph.D. and Teresa Goodell R.N.
Oregon Medical Laser Center, Providence St. Vincent's Medical Center
Oregon Cancer Center, Oregon Health Sciences University (an NCI-designated center). Copyright 1999 by the Oregon Medical Laser Center.