PDT has a number of specific advantages, including the following:
- It is non-invasive or at least less invasive than surgery.
- Unlike surgery, there’s little or no scarring after the site heals.
- Unlike surgery and other conventional treatments that tend to suppress the immune system, Immuno-PDT restores and enhances the immune system.
- It lacks any of the long-term side effects that have been seen with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
- Unlike radiotherapy, PDT can be repeated many times at the same site if needed.
- When used properly, it usually takes only a short time and is often done on an outpatient basis.
- In the context of Immuno-PDT, it helps stop the growth and spread (metastasis) of cancer.
- It can more specifically target brain tumors, sparing the normal brain tissues.
- It can help reduce medical costs by improving prevention of recurrences (e.g., bladder cancer)
- In general, it costs considerably less than other cancer therapies and thus will dramatically reduce the cost of medical care.
Photodynamic therapy is potentially contraindicated in the following situations:
- Severe ascites
- Cancer cachexia
- Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
- Renal failure
It is important to keep in mind that PDT has many possibilities as an adjunct to mainstream cancer therapy. For example, it may accompany chemotherapy in the treatment of postoperative relapses of different cancers. It also can be used for rehabilitation after radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and for treatment of solitary distant metastases that persist after radical surgery.