Research & Education
Photodynamic therapy, developed in the late 1970s by Thomas Dougherty, PhD, of Roswell Park, is a targeted anticancer treatment — one that kills tumor cells without permanently damaging surrounding tissue.
The treatment involves the administration of a nontoxic drug that settles in tumor cells, followed by the application of laser light to the tumor, thereby activating the drug and killing the cancer.
At Roswell Park, it is used to treat select types of cancer, including very early- and advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer, in conjunction with surgery or when radiotherapy and surgery are not options; and mesothelioma.
Learn more about photodynamic therapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.