Lung Cancer. 2005 Jul;49 Suppl 1:S65-8. [Link]

Ris HB.

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudoise (CHUV), CH 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is increasingly observed in industrial countries. Despite concerted efforts and combined treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and irradiation patients eventually succumb from relentless local progression of the disease. Recent publications have demonstrated an improved response rate with the cytostatic agent pemetrexed which will be tested in a neoadjuvant setting followed by surgery. However, effective tumor control requires new loco-regional treatment modalities, eventually in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Intraoperative photodynamic therapy (PDT) of the chest cavity has been proposed as an attractive treatment concept for MPM since a selective treatment of the tumor bed following resection has the potential to improve local tumor control. It has been shown to afford tumor destruction in patients with mesothelioma but efficiency and selectivity is not yet sufficient for routine clinical application. Experimental work on MPM has shown that tumor selectivity of PDT depend on treatment conditions and can be improved by structural modification and improved targeting of the sensitizers. Refinements of PDT for mesothelioma will depend on a more detailed understanding of the pathways for preferential sensitizer accumulation within the tumor as well as on synergistic effects between PDT and chemotherapeutic agents.