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Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2011 Jun;8(2):75-85. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2011.01.001.

Photodynamic therapy in the management of pre-malignant head and neck mucosal dysplasia and microinvasive carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, United States.


The management of head and neck mucosal dysplasia and microinvasive carcinoma is an appealing strategy to prevent the development of invasive carcinomas. While surgery remains the standard of care, photodynamic therapy (PDT) offers several advantages including the ability to provide superficial yet wide field mucosal ablative treatment. This is particularly attractive where defining the extent of the dysplasia can be difficult. PDT can also retreat the mucosa without any cumulative fibrotic complications affecting function. To date, clinical experience suggests that this treatment approach can be effective in obtaining a complete response for the treated lesion but long term follow-up is limited. Further research efforts are needed to define not only the risk of malignant transformation with PDT but also to develop site specific treatment recommendations that include the fluence, fluence rate and light delivery technique.

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