Enroll Back call Send email

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy (FDT) is a non-surgical method of cancer treatment using photosensitizers or photosensitizing agents, i.e. specific substances which selectively accumulate in pathological cells and increase their sensitivity to light. During exposure of such cells with light waves of specific length, photosensitizers generate a specific form of oxygen which kills adjacent tumour cells. Each photosensitizer is activated by light waves of specific length, and this is the wave length that defines the depth of light wave penetration into the body. For that reason, for various tumour localisations, specialists select different photosensitizers and different wave length. At the first stage of FDT, the patient is administered an IV drug which is absorbed by all body cells, but tumour cells retain the drug longer than the healthy ones. Specialists define the optimal period of 24 to 72 hours and expose the tumour to radiation. When exposed to light, photosensitizers generate active oxygen which kills tumour cells, but other two important processes take place as well: oxygen blocks blood from entering the tumour by damaging blood supply vessels; and the immune system is activated which can start killing tumour cells.

Usually one FDT procedure is enough, then the tumour is destroyed during 2–3 months, but your oncologist can propose you to repeat the procedure. FDT is well-tolerated even by old patients; it leaves no scars and cicatrical tissue; besides FDT is ideal in case of serious concomitant pathologies and in case of palliative care. Due to specific light wave impact, FDT is prescribed in complicated tumour locations. e.g. in earflap.