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.