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Proceedings Paper

ALA PDT for high grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus: review of a decade's experience
Author(s): Stephen G. Bown; Gary D. Mackenzie; Jason M. Dunn; Sally M. Thorpe; Laurence B. Lovat
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Paper Abstract

We have been investigating PDT with 5 aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) for the treatment of high grade dysplasia (HGD) in Barrett's oesophagus (BO) for over a decade. This drug has inherent advantages over porfimer sodium (Photofrin), the current approved photosensitiser in the UK and USA, which causes strictures in 18-50% and light sensitivity for up to three months. ALA has a lower rate of oesophageal strictures due to its preferential activity in the mucosa, sparing the underlying muscle, and patients are only light sensitive for 1-2 days. Within a randomised controlled trial, we demonstrated that an ALA dose of 60mg/kg activated by 1000J/cm red laser light is the most effective. Using these values we achieved complete reversal of HGD at 1 year in 89% of 27 patients. A randomised controlled trial of ALA vs porfimer sodium PDT for HGD is currently under way with end points of efficacy and safety. 50 of 66 patients have been recruited. Preliminary data suggest ALA PDT is safer with a trend to higher efficacy. Late relapse can occur in 20% of patients. New prognostic markers, in particular aneuploidy, are helping us to identify and target patients at risk of late relapse. Furthermore optical biopsy techniques such as elastic scattering spectroscopy (ESS) may allow detection of nuclear abnormalities in vivo and enable us to target areas of interest whilst reducing sampling error. PDT faces new challenges for the treatment of HGD in BO, with the recent introduction of balloon based radiofrequency ablation. This technique appears simpler and as effective as PDT, but follow up is currently short and long term safety data is lacking. In our experience ALA PDT is currently the most effective minimally invasive treatment for HGD in BO. This work was undertaken at UCLH/UCL who received a proportion of funding from the Department of Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 July 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7380, Photodynamic Therapy: Back to the Future, 738018 (13 July 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.822976
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen G. Bown, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Univ. College London Hospitals (United Kingdom)
Gary D. Mackenzie, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Univ. College London Hospitals (United Kingdom)
Jason M. Dunn, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Univ. College London Hospitals (United Kingdom)
Sally M. Thorpe, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Univ. College London Hospitals (United Kingdom)
Laurence B. Lovat, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Univ. College London Hospitals (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7380:
Photodynamic Therapy: Back to the Future
David H. Kessel, Editor(s)

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