Background and Objectives
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with porfimer sodium, FDA approved to treat premalignant lesions in Barrett’s esophagus, causes photosensitivity for 6-8 weeks. HPPH (2-[1-hexyloxyethyl]-2-devinyl pyropheophorbide-a) shows minimal photosensitization of short duration and promising efficacy in preclinical studies. Here we explore toxicity and optimal drug and light dose with endoscopic HPPH-PDT. We also want to know the efficacy of one time treatment with HPPH-PDT.
Study Design/Materials and Methods
Two nonrandomized dose escalation studies were performed (18 patients each) with biopsy-proven high grade dysplasia or early intramucosal adenocarcinoma of esophagus. HPPH doses ranged from 3 to 6 mg/m2. At 24 or 48 hours after HPPH administration the lesions received one endoscopic exposure to 150, 175 or 200 J/cm of 665 nm light.
Most patients experienced mild to moderate chest pain requiring symptomatic treatment only. Six patients experienced Grade 3 & 4 adverse events (16.6%). Three esophageal strictures were treated with dilatation. No clear pattern of dose dependence of toxicities emerged.
In the drug dose ranging study (light dose of 150 J/cm at 48 h), 3 and 4 mg/m2 of HPPH emerged as most effective. In the light dose ranging study (3 or 4 mg/m2 HPPH, light at 24 h), complete response rates (disappearance of high grade dysplasia and early carcinoma) of 72% were achieved at 1 year, with all patients treated with 3 mg/m2 HPPH plus 175 J/cm and 4 mg/m2 HPPH plus 150 J/cm showing complete responses at 1 year.
HPPH-PDT for precancerous lesions in Barrett’s esophagus appears to be safe and showing promising efficacy. Further clinical studies are required to establish the use of HPPH-PDT.