Photodynamic therapy in the treatment of malignant tumours of the upper aerodigestive tract

F. Calzavara, L. Tomio, L. Norberto, A. Peracchia, L. Corti, P. L. Zorat, G. Cavaniglia, F. Bidoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is the report of a pilot study in which the technique of photodynamic therapy (PDT)-in which malignant tissues are destroyed by light after being previously photosensitized by haematoporphyrin or its derivative-was performed using a high power argon-dye laser system which operated at 630±5 nm and optical fibres with either a microlens or a diffusing tip. A total of thirty-seven patients were utilized for this study, including twenty-five patients affected by esophageal carcinoma, five by recurrences of head and neck cancer, four by gastric cancer and three by lung cancer. Among the sixteen cases with superficial or localized cancer of the esophagus, complete and partial responses were observed in seven and six patients, respectively. In advanced and recurring cancers less satisfactory results were obtained. Thus, PDT seems to be useful in cases of small superficial cancers, either primary or recurrent after previous treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1989


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Argon dye laser
  • Early stage esophageal cancer
  • Haematoporphyrin
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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