PDT is a drug and device therapy using photosensitizing drugs activated by laser light, for tissue ablation. PDT light sources must deliver wavelengths matching the absorption of photosensitizers’ compound without any side thermal effect. According to applications, these sources need to be:
– pled to relatively small optical fibres so as to bring the light energy, of specific wavelength, inside of the body (gastroenterology, head & neck, urology, pneumology),
– coupled to a slit lamp adapter to transmit the light to the eye (AMD)
– or allow a direct illumination of tissues when large areas must be treated (dermatology).
But they also need to be user‐friendly with limited investment and installation costs.
So as to achieve the required effects, several light sources are available and will be used but practical and economical reasons have limited the number and types of these sources.
For PDT oncology applications, besides dermatology, it has also been necessary to develop specific light delivery systems based on optical fibres. These devices allow the treatment:
– of circular lumens such as oesophagus, bile ducts, lungs
– of solid volumes such as prostate, pancreas
– of surfaces such as in head and neck
– of empty volumes such as bladder, uterus, cervix.
Due to the variety of these treatments, a full family of sources has been developed from original sophisticated costly lasers to more recent easy‐to‐use diode laser systems. The aim of this presentation is to present the actual state of the art of actual available PDT tools, analyze their qualities and weaknesses, analyze the consequences of a good and/or bad choice or good and/or bad utilization on the quality of the therapeutic results and resulting side effects. It will also evaluate the short and medium term developments of new tools and their effect on the development of the therapy including economical aspects.
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