Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective treatment for local head and neck tumors alongside surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The Netherlands Cancer Institute is the leading institute for PDT expertise in the country as well as in Europe.
PDT works because of an interaction between a light-sensitive substance (photosensitizer), oxygen, and light-emitting lasers. We will administer a substance called foscan intravenously. The substance mainly attaches itself to the tumor cells, although it can make your entire body sensitive to light. Four days later, we will deliver a laser beam of light to the tumor, which will cause a chemical reaction that destroys tumor cells.
Pros of PDT
There are many benefits to PDT: treatment is short and will only take one session. The treatment can be delivered with great precision which will prevent damage or loss of function in the area. Treatment can also be delivered in combination with previous surgery or radiotherapy or even prior PDT treatment.