Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses a drug, called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, and a particular type of light. When photosensitizers are exposed to a specific wavelength of light, they produce a form of oxygen that kills nearby cells. Each photosensitizer is activated by light of a specific wavelength. This wavelength determines how far the light can travel into the body. Thus, doctors use specific photosensitizers and wavelengths of light to treat different areas of the body with PDT.
- PIT is said to satisfy a basic challenge in beating cancer: Balancing the ability to kill cancer cells while limiting the collateral damage to surrounding tissue.
- The technique also builds on a current treatment called photodynamic therapy, which is a two-stage procedure beginning with a patient being given an injection of a special drug called a photosensitizer, which is designed to accumulate in and around a cancerous tumor.
- Stenson places tiny, laser-optic fibers near the surface of the tumor. If it is hard to reach, she will thread the fibers through small catheters directly into the tumor.
“PIT is said to satisfy a basic challenge in beating cancer: Balancing the ability to kill cancer cells while limiting the collateral damage to surrounding tissue.”