BUFFALO, NYPhotofrin (porfi-mer sodium), a photosensitizer used in photodynamic therapy (PDT), has received FDA approval for use in early-stage microinvasive lung cancer. The agent, manufactured by QLT Photo-Therapeutics, was approved in 1995 for palliative use in esophageal cancer.
A press release from Roswell Park Cancer Institute notes that photodynamic therapy was developed and tested for use in a number of types of cancers by Thomas J. Dougherty, PhD, and his colleagues at Roswell Park.
In clinical trials sponsored by QLT PhotoTherapeutics, approximately 75% of patients had a complete response following treatment with Photofrin/PDT, and about half are cancer-free in up to 10 years of follow-up. Photofrin represents a potentially curative treatment for early-stage lung cancer patients who are not eligible for surgery or radiotherapy, the Roswell Park researchers said.