Author(s): Manyak MJ, Ogan K
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Diffuse superficial transitional-cell carcinoma (TCC) refractory to standard therapies poses a clinical dilemma. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which uses an interaction between absorbed light and a retained photosensitizing agent to destroy tissue, has been used to treat diffuse superficial bladder TCC, although there are few reports of long-term outcomes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A series of 34 patients, 29 with TCC carcinoma in situ (CIS) and 5 with multiple small papillary stage T(a) or T(1) lesions, received porfimer sodium (P) 48 hours before whole-bladder PDT with 630-nm laser light. A 0.02\% soybean emulsion diffusion medium was instilled into the bladder, and the laser optical fiber was positioned under triplanar sonography prior to PDT. The mean follow-up was 52 months. RESULTS: At 3 months, a complete response (CR) in 14 (44\%) of the 32 evaluable patients, a partial response (PR) in 4 (12\%), and no response (NR) in 14 (44\%). Four of the five patients with extensive papillary lesions did not respond. The NR rate for patients with CIS with or without resected papillary lesions was 37\%. The mean time to recurrence in the CR group was 9.8 months, and five members of this group (36\%) underwent cystectomy (mean time 20 months) for persistent/progressive disease (N = 3) or bladder contracture (N = 2). In the NR group, 6 (43\%) underwent cystectomy (mean time 14 months) for persistent/progressive disease. Metastatic bladder cancer was the cause of death in only 4 of the 12 patients who have died. Of the remaining 22 patients, 15 are still alive and have an intact bladder, nine with no disease and six with only superficial disease. CONCLUSION: This is the first report of long-term results following whole-bladder PDT using diffusion medium for isotropic light distribution. More than half of the patients with TCC refractory to traditional intravesical therapy received benefit from a single PDT session. Patients with extensive flat papillary lesions do not appear to respond well. Patients who achieve a CR have less likelihood of and longer time interval before needing cystectomy for progressive disease than NR patients. Our PDT protocol is associated with minimal morbidity in these high-risk patients.
This article was published in J Endourol
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques