Photodynamic therapy has a promising effect on nonresectable cholangiocarcinoma.
In this study, investigators from Europe compared photodynamic therapy with stenting (group A), and stenting alone (group B) in patients with nonresectable cholangiocarcinoma.
Patients in group A received intravenous Photofrin (2 mg/kg) 2 days before intraluminal photoactivation. Additional treatments were performed if there was residual tumor in the bile duct.
The investigators compared survival time between the 2 groups. They also examined cholestasis and quality of life.
- group A = 493 days
- group B = 98 days
The team found that photodynamic therapy significantly prolonged patients' survival. Median survival in group A was 493 days, compared with 98 days in group B.
Photodynamic therapy also improved biliary drainage and quality of life.
Dr Marianne Ortner's team concluded, "Photodynamic therapy, given in addition to best supportive care, improves survival in patients with nonresectable cholangiocarcinoma".
"The study was terminated prematurely because photodynamic therapy proved to be so superior to simple stenting treatment that further randomization was deemed unethical".