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Endoscopy. 2006 Jun;38(6):641-3.

Long-Segment early squamous cell carcinoma of the proximal esophagus: curative treatment and long-term follow-up after 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)-photodynamic therapy.

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  • 1Medical Department C, Klinikum Ludwigshafen, Academic Hospital of the University of Mainz, Germany.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an established treatment for the ablation of dysplastic Barrett's epithelium and early esophageal carcinoma, but no data have been published on curative 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)-PDT for long-segment early esophageal cancer with infiltration of the upper sphincter. We describe successful curative treatment of an unusual early long-segment squamous cell carcinoma (uT1a,N0) of the proximal esophagus (18 - 28 cm aborally), with three sessions of 5-ALA-PDT. Endoscopic and endosonographic follow-up macroscopically showed a complete remission of the tumor, proven by biopsy showing total histological ablation. After a follow-up period of 23 months, there has been no indication of tumor recurrence. Early superficial (< 3 mm) squamous cell carcinomas of the esophagus can be ablated completely by 5-ALA-PDT. However, long-term follow-up is required in order to prove the effectiveness of endoscopic ablation therapy for early esophageal cancer.

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