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Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 5 (1999), Issue 3, Pages 161-166

Effectiveness of Photodynamic Therapy and Nd-YAG Laser Treatment for Obstructed Tracheobronchial Malignancies

Department of Surgery, Tokyo Medical University, 6-7-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Since 1980, advanced lung carcinomas were treated with palliative laser therapy for the purpose of opening the endobronchial stenosis and obstruction by either photodynamic therapy (PDT) or Nd-YAG laser treatment at Tokyo Medical University. A total of 258 lesions were treated, 81 by PDT and 177 by Nd-YAG laser treatment. PDT achieved effective results in 61 (75%) of 81 lesions. In the Nd-YAG laser group, 143 (81%) of 177 lesions showed effective results. When the tumor was located in the trachea or main bronchi, effective results were obtained in 73% (19 of 26) of cases treated by PDT and in 93% of cases (64 of 69) treated by Nd-YAG laser. However, in cases in which the tumor was located in lobar or segmental bronchi, the tumor response was effective in 76% (42 of 55) of PDT-treated patients and 73% (79 of 108) of Nd-YAG laser-treated patients. With a mortality rate of 0%, the greatest advantage of PDT over Nd-YAG treatment was safety. Considering complications, PDT seems to be useful for obstruction of lobar and segmental bronchus. Nevertheless, when deciding among alternative therapies, physicians treating patients with advanced lung carcinoma should give careful consideration to the benefit and complications of both laser therapies and decide the most suitable modality.