Purpose We evaluated the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy using Radachlorin® in patients with high grade, nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer refractory or intolerant to bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy who refused radical cystectomy. Materials and Methods Between July 2009 and December 2011 photodynamic therapy was performed in 22 men and 12 women. Radachlorin (0.5 to 0.6 mg/kg) was injected intravenously 2 to 3 hours before photodynamic therapy. After complete transurethral resection, a diffuser using a 22Fr cystoscope was placed in the bladder for irradiation with a 662 nm laser. Output beam power was adjusted to 1.8 W and the light dose was 15 J/cm2. Photodynamic therapy was performed for 16 to 30 minutes. Recurrence after photodynamic therapy was followed by regular cystoscopy at 1, 2 and 3 months, and at 3-month intervals thereafter for up to 2.8 years. Efficacy was assessed by cystoscopy, cytology and histology, and defined as the number of patients who were tumor free after initial photodynamic therapy. Results Mean ± SD patient age was 62.94 ± 8.71 years. Average followup was 26.74 ± 6.34 months (median 28.12). As the primary efficacy outcome, the recurrence-free rate was 90.9% at 12 months, 64.4% at 24 months and 60.1% at 30 months. As the secondary efficacy outcome, there was no statistical difference in mass size, carcinoma in situ, number of previous bacillus Calmette-Guérin administrations, number of transurethral bladder resections or tumor multiplicity on Kaplan-Meier analysis (each p >0.05). No evidence of severe adverse effects was detected after photodynamic therapy. Conclusions Photodynamic therapy with Radachlorin is a safe, effective treatment for nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer refractory or intolerant to bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy in select patients.
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