Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a new and promising treatment modality for the treatment of malignant disease. This paper reports the preliminary experience of our group in the use of this therapy for the treatment of tumours arising in the head and neck. The majority of treatments in these cases have used a second generation systemic photosensitizer, meta-tetrahydroxyphenylchlorin (m-THPC). Two other cases were treated with either Photofrin 2 (a first generation systemic sensitizer) or with the topical photosensitizer, delta-aminolaevulinic acid (δ-ALA).
The initial results have been encouraging with good clinical responses evident in patients presenting with a variety of differing tumour types. We feel there is now sufficient evidence of the efficacy of this treatment to warrant a multicentre prospective study into the treatment of early head and neck cancer with PDT.