Photodynamic therapy of facial squamous cell carcinoma in cats using a new photosensitizer

Michael L. Magne, Carlos O. Rodriguez, Susan A. Autry, Benjamin F. Edwards, Alain P Theon, Bruce R. Madewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Photodynamic therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment modality for surface-oriented neoplasms of the skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urogenital systems. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of photodynamic therapy using a new photosensitizer in the treatment of squamous cell carcinomas of the feline facial skin. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Cats with naturally occurring squamous cell carcinomas of the facial skin were entered into the study. Tumors were staged using a modification of the World Health Organization (WHO) system for classification of feline tumors of epidermal origin. Photodynamic therapy was delivered to the tumors using an argon- pumped dye laser 24 hours after the administration of the photosensitizer pyropheophorbide-alpha-hexyl-ether (HPPH-23). Following treatment, tumors were evaluated for complete response rates and local control durations. Results: Fifteen tumors were staged T1a (< 1.5 cm diameter, noninvasive), 18 T1b (< 1.5 cm, invasive), and 28 T2B (> 1.5 cm, invasive). Complete response rates as well as local control durations were significantly (P < 0.05) related to stage. Complete response was achieved in 100% of T1a tumors, 56% of T1b tumors, and 18% of T2b tumors. One-year local control rates were 100% for T1a tumors and 53% for T1b tumors; overall 1-year local control rate for all treated tumors was 62%. Clinical, hematological, and biochemical evidence of toxicity was not seen in any cat following drug administration. However, morbidity was observed following treatment of large, invasive tumors of the nasal plane. Conclusion: Photodynamic therapy with the photosensitizer HPPH- 23 was safe and effective in treating early stage squamous cell carcinomas of the feline nasal plane and facial skin. However, toxicity was encountered following treatment of large neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • feline
  • photodynamic therapy
  • photosensitizers
  • pyropheophorbide
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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