The Society of Surgical Oncology, inc.
The American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Breast Cancer With Chest Wall Progression: Treatment With Photodynamic Therapy

Rosa E. Cuenca MD, Ron R. Allison MD, Claudio Sibata PhD, Gordon H. Downie MD, PhD
Original Articles
Volume 11, Issue 3 / March , 2004


Background: Chest wall progression of breast carcinoma affects up to 5% of breast cancer patients and is a major source of their pain. Treatment options are limited or may not be offered to these patients. Low-dose Photofrin-induced photodynamic therapy (PDT) offers an excellent clinical response with minimal morbidity. We report our continued experience with PDT in this setting.

Methods: Fourteen patients with more than 500 truncal metastases were treated with PDT. All received off-label Photofrin (.8 mg/kg) IV and light treatment at 630 nm from a diode laser with a microlens at a fluence of 1800 mW and a total light dose of 150 to 200 J/cm2 at 48 hours. One patient required re-treatment because of extensive disease.

Results: Follow-up was at least 6 months, and several extended to >24 months. All patients demonstrated tumor necrosis, with 9 of 14 complete responses, including with lesions >2 cm in thickness. Disease progression occurred outside of the treatment field. Several patients had initial regression of untreated lesions. Wound care, especially with disease in the deep tissues, was an issue.

Conclusions: Low-dose Photofrin-induced PDT offers patients with chest wall progression a treatment option with an excellent clinical response. To date, the response is prolonged and offers good local control. Surgical oncologists have an active role in this treatment option.


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