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What are the benefits?

What are the benefits?

Patient Friendly

PDT has one major advantage over other forms of cancer treatments in that it is patient friendly in terms of having fewer side effects and being minimally invasive. Patients are treated as day cases offering them the comfort and support of their home and family.

 

Targetted Treatment

PDT is a highly localised form of cancer treatment and only treats the cancerous areas. The photosensitising chemicals used in PDT directly target the cancerous area so that no other part of the body will be affected by the treatment.

What is PDT?

What is PDT?

What is PDT? 

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a photosensitive drug to target tumour tissue with little effect on normal tissue. PDT has no long term side effects and is a treatment which can be repeated if necessary. This treatment has the potential to treat many thousands of patients.

 

Is PDT treatment recognised? 

Yes.  The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, usually referred to as NICE, has provided guidelines for the use of PDT treatments for some lung, oesophagus, head and neck, and skin, bladder, and colo-rectal cancers. Research is progressing in other areas including prostate, and some gynaecological cancers.

 

Why is PDT treatment patient friendly? 

PDT treatment is generally carried out as day surgery. The treatment does not involve prolonged hospital stay.

 

Is PDT available on the National Health Service? 

Yes, in some cases  PDT is going through an ‘awareness campaign’. A small number of centres in the UK have the expertise to provide the service.

 

Where is PDT treatment available in the UK?

Some of the main centres are: Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Yorkshire Laser Centre East Yorkshire, University College Hospital London, and the North West Lung Centre, Manchester.

 

Approximately how many patients have been treated in the UK?

There are no official records but Cancer Research UK state that over 4,000 PDT treatments have been carried out since early 2008.

 

Where is PDT available other than the UK?

In many other countries, notably the US, Japan and Germany, but PDT is only now coming to the forefront of the available modalities of treatment.

Cancer Treatment

Cancer Treatment

PDT uses lasers in combination with a photosensitive drug to provide a highly targeted cancer treatment. It can be used in combination with traditional cancer treatments such as radio and chemo-therapy, or in some instances may be the primary treatment, thus avoiding some of the more unpleasant side-effects of more aggressive and less targeted treatments. Work continues to refine and improve PDT and expand its use in more parts of the body, and in combination with photo-detection to ensure timely and thorough interventions. A growing number of PDT treatments are now approved by NICE following the work undertaken by The Trust.

PDT has emerged as one of the most effective cancer treatments because it is:

  • Target-oriented therapy: essentially destroying cancer and sparing the normal cell thus producing little or no collateral damage.

  • It is effective against a variety of cancers.

  • PDT can be used in conjunction with standard cancer therapy

  • PDT is a minimally invasive treatment and can be carried out as a day surgery procedure

  • PDT can be repeated

  • PDT is safe and can be carried out in patients not suitable for other methods of therapy.

PDT uses a combination of a photosensitive drug and light to provide a highly targeted cancer treatment. It can be used in combination with traditional cancer treatments such as radio and chemo-therapy, or in some instances may be the primary treatment, thus avoiding some of the more unpleasant side-effects of more aggressive and less targeted treatments. Work continues to refine and improve PDT and expand its use in more parts of the body, and in combination with photo-detection to ensure timely and thorough interventions. A growing number of PDT treatments are now approved by NICE following the work undertaken by The Trust.

Currently PDT is used for the treatment of:

  • Bronchogenic (lung) cancer

  • Cancer of the oesophagus

  • Some urothelial cancers

  • Gynaecological cancers

  • Non-melanoma skin cancer/Bowens disease

  • Local recurrence of breast cancer

  • Colo-rectal cancer

  • Brain tumours

Research is progressing in other areas.

 

NICE has provided guidelines on PDT (www.nice.org.uk)

 

See also Cancer Research UK for advice on cancer treatment (www.cancerresearchuk.org)

Training Accreditations

Training Accreditations

In order to promote the wide use of lasers within medicine, the Yorkshire Laser Centre has developed accredited training courses for health professionals in the various techniques of laser therapy and operating laser equipment.

Courses are held by the Centre at Goole & District Hospital; training can also be provided on-site at other hospitals using equipment and expertise through the Centre’s Mobile Unit. Please contact us for more details.