Photofrin Available for Esophageal Palliation

February 1, 1996
Volume 23, Issue 5

WASHINGTON--The FDA has approved QLT PhotoTherapeutics' light-activated drug Photofrin (porfimer sodium) for the palliative treatment of esophageal constriction in patients with advanced esophageal cancer.

WASHINGTON--The FDA has approved QLT PhotoTherapeutics' light-activateddrug Photofrin (porfimer sodium) for the palliative treatmentof esophageal constriction in patients with advanced esophagealcancer.

Photofrin is given intravenously, then activated by nonthermallight from a medical laser delivered via fiberoptic cables intothe esophagus. Once activated, the agent produces free radicalsthat help destroy cancer cells.

Studies showed that the treatment gave patients a higher qualityof life by allowing them to swallow again on their own.

QLT (Vancouver, BC) has entered into an agreement with New YorkCity-based Sanofi Winthrop to market Photofrin, the first formof photodynamic therapy (PDT) to receive FDA approval.

Two Laser Systems

The FDA also granted marketing clearance to two laser systemsfor use with Photofrin: Coherent, Inc.'s Lambda Plus PDL.1 andPDL.2, and Laserscope's KTP/532 and KTP/YAG. A PDT Dye Moduleallows the Laserscope machines to be adapted for use in PDT.