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Roswell receives $10 million grant to study photodynamic therapy

Roswell Park Cancer Institute will receive $10 million over the next five years from the National Cancer Institute grant for research into photodynamic therapy.

This is the continuation of grant funding that will focus on using the therapy on head and neck cancers.

Photodynamic therapy, which was developed at Roswell Park, combines light-sensitizing drugs with laser light. Because the therapy does not induce treatment resistance or result in cumulative toxicity, it can be repeated multiple times to increase its effectiveness.

It also is offered as a treatment option for many skin, lung and esophageal cancers, as well as Barrett’s esophagus and other precancerous conditions.

With the new funding, Roswell Park plans to embark on clinical trials with other research centers to evaluate photodynamic therapy as a frontline therapy for early-stage disease and to reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy in treatment of recurrent and advanced head and neck cancers.