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Volgger, Veronika; Betz, Christian Stephan (2016): Photodynamic therapy in the upper aerodigestive tract. Overview and outlook. In: Journal of Biophotonics, Vol. 9, No. 11-12: pp. 1302-1313
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Abstract

The gold standard in the treatment of (pre)malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) is either surgery or (chemo) radiotherapy. Nevertheless, there are special indications where an alternative treatment, such as photodynamic therapy (PDT), might be as effective for and better tolerated by the patients concerned. This article aims to present a contemporary and comprehensive review on the role of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of (pre) malignancies of the UADT. PubMed was searched for "photodynamic therapy larynx/oral cavity/oropharynx/head and neck" in 01/2016. PDT can be efficient in the treatment of recurrent, residual or multiple carcinomas of the UADT without other treatment options. It has also been used with success in the treatment of early oral or laryngeal carcinomas, widespread precancerous lesions or "difficult-to-treat" skin cancer, even though these treatments are off-label. For now, unsolved scientific and economical challenges hinder the methods spread. In special cases, PDT is a highly effective method to treat head and neck (pre) malignancies. Nevertheless, further clinical studies are needed to better define its true value in head and neck oncology. [GRAPHICS] .