Intractable advanced lung cancer can be treated palliatively with photodynamic therapy (PDT) combined with chemotherapy to remove central and peripheral (lobar or segmental bronchi) bronchial stenosis and obstruction. We present data for 12 (eight men, four women) consecutive patients with 13 advanced non-small cell lung carcinomas in whom curative operations were contraindicated, who underwent PDT combined with chemotherapy for local control of the intraluminal lesions. The mean age was 73.3 years (range, 58–80 years), and the stages of cancer were IIA–IV. The median stenosis rates before treatment, one week post-treatment, and one month post-treatment were 60% (range, 30%–100%), 15% (range, 15%–99%), and 15% (range 15%–60%), respectively. The mean and median survival times were 9.3 and 5.9 months, respectively. The overall 1-year survival rate was 30.0%. No PDT-related morbidity or mortality occurred. In this single-institution study, all patients experienced improved symptoms and quality of life at one week after treatment; furthermore, an objective response was evidenced by the substantial increase in the openings of the bronchial lumen and prevention of obstructive pneumonia. Therefore, PDT with chemotherapy was useful and safe for the treatment of bronchial obstruction.
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