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June 1988

Photodynamic Therapy for Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer: A Preliminary Report

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(6):611-612. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860180025009

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Vanessa G. Schweitzer, MD, at the Henry Ford Medical Center, Detroit, recently reported her experience of using photodynamic therapy for the treatment of head and neck malignancies. Her study, reported at the Eastern Section meeting of the Triological Society in New York City, involved patients with stage III and stage IV head and neck cancer who did not respond to other therapy, patients with multiple primary lesions due to field cancerization, and several patients with Kaposi's sarcoma due to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A total of eight patients were treated with intravenous administration of dihematoporphyrin ether (photosensitizing agent) and then exposed to 50 to 75 J/cm2 of argon laser energy. This interaction causes the release of free oxygen radicals, which is cytotoxic. Complete or partial remissions were produced in all eight patients, which included cancer of the nasopharynx, oropharynx, palate, uvula, retromolar trigone, cervical esophagus, temporal bone, and two

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