BACKGROUND: Patients suffering from advanced esophageal cancer ineligible for resection still have a poor prognosis. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a very effective approach in the endoluminal palliative treatment regimen of this malignancy. METHODS: The mechanism of function is based on the illumination of malignant tissue after selective accumulation of photosensitizers in tumour cells resulting in local tumour necrosis. In case of esophageal cancer, PDT is performed endoscopically under general anaesthesia. RESULTS: Significant reduction of the endoluminal tumour associated with increased quality of life can be achieved which helps conditioning the patient for further palliative treatment procedures. CONCLUSIONS: Local endoluminal palliation with the aim to improve swallowing, decrement of dysphagia and therefore improvement of the patient's quality of life are the main therapeutic goals of PDT in case of inoperable esophageal cancer. Therefore, PDT has become a more and more accepted as well as safe, feasible and efficient endoscopic treatment option within the multimodal palliation regimen of advanced esophageal cancer.
J. Lindenmann, A. Maier, V. Matzi, N. Neuboeck, U. Anegg, Ch. Porubsky, O. Sankin, B. Fell, H. Renner, P. Swatek, F. M. Smolle-Juettner, European Surgery 6/2011