“Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is not just a palliative treatment,” declared Patrick Ross, Jr, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Thoracic Surgery, The Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, Ohio. “The real bang for the buck with PDT has got to be curative attempt.” PDT first emerged on the scene at OSU primarily as an effective palliative tool for symptom management in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with very few complications. Now many researchers and clinicians are considering the role of PDT for curative indications, such as primary treatment of early airway cancer and induction therapy in combination with other modalities. This article offers a backward glance at the early results with PDT at OSU since 1998, a contemporary look at the various indications for PDT in treating airway malignancies, and a future perspective on the next steps for PDT as it moves forward.
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