What is the role of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma (CCC)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2019
  • Author: Peter E Darwin, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an experimental local cancer therapy already in use for other gastrointestinal malignancies. [28, 29] PDT is a two-step process: the first step is intravenous (IV) administration of a photosensitizer; the second step is activation by light illumination at an appropriate wavelength. [28, 29]

PDT is effective in restoring biliary drainage and improving quality of life in patients with nonresectable disseminated cholangiocarcinomas. Survival times may be longer than those reported previously. A prospective, multicenter study showed a significant survival benefit in the PDT treatment group. [28] An additional multicenter study is being planned.

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