Author(s): McCaughan JS
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Abstract Objectives Determine factors affecting survival rates, benefits and complications of patients with obstructive esophageal cancer treated with photodynamic therapy (PDT). Methods From 1982 to January 1998, we used PDT to treat 140 patients with obstructive adeno or squamous carcinoma and evaluated survival up to November 1998. All patients had failed, refused, or were ineligible for surgery, ionizing radiation or chemotherapy. The effect of different variables on survival was estimated using multivariate analysis. The Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), weight, diet and complications were recorded and biopsies and brushings were taken at each endoscopy. At the beginning and end of each endoscopy the minimal diameter open of the esophagus, and the length, thickness and color of the tumor were recorded. Edema, exudate, bleeding, and mucositis were evaluated and recorded on an ordinal scale.Results The only significant variable affecting survival was the clinical stage. The median survival after PDT for all patients was 6.5 months (mean = 13.9). Kaplan-Meier survival after PDT curves were statistically significantly different when stratified by the clinical Stage at the time of PDT (p < 0.0001). Median survival (months) were for: Stage I = 56; Stage II = 12; Stage III = 6.5; Stage IV = 3.5. Analysis of each individual stage showed the KPS was the only confounding variable with a statistically significant effect on survival after PDT and this was only for Stages III and IV. The most significant effect occurred when the KPS was >/= 70. For Stage III the median survival when the KPS was >/= 70 was 7.7 months and for a KPS < 70 it was 5.0 months (p = 0.0001). For Stage IV the median survival when the KPS was >/= 70 was 5.5 months and for a KPS < 70 it was 2.5 months (p = 0.0002). The mean minimum diameter open before PDT was 6.2 mm (median 6.0mm) and at the end of the PDT treatment endoscopy 11.1 mm (median 12.0 mm) for a mean increase in the minimum diameter open of 4.9 mm (median 5.0 mm) This was statistically significant using paired t-tests (p < 0.0001).Conclusions Photodynamic therapy for esophageal carcinoma caused minimal complications and procedure related mortality. Complete obstruction can be relieved by the end of the PDT endoscopy. The length of palliation for "non-curative" patients was equal to or better than that reported historically for most other treatment regimens.
This article was published in Diagn Ther Endosc
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques