Photodynamic therapy at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) was developed at Roswell Park, and the PDT Center is a worldwide leader in its use for treating many types of cancer.
PDT, developed in the late 1970s by the late Thomas Dougherty, PhD, 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 various types of cancer, including cancers of the skin, lung, breast, gynecological cancers, esophagus, pleura, and head and neck.