Evaluating outcomes of palliative photodynamic therapy: Instrument development and preliminary results

Teresa T. Goodell, Paulo R. Bargo, Steven L. Jacques

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Background: Subjective measures are considered the gold standard in palliative care evaluation, but no studies have evaluated palliative photodynamic therapy (PDT) subjectively. If PDT is to be accepted as a palliative therapy for later-stage obstructing esophageal and lung cancer, evidence of its effectiveness and acceptability to patients must be made known. Study Design/Materials and Methods: This ongoing study's major aim is to evaluate subjective outcomes of PDT in patients with obstructing esophageal and lung cancer. Existing measures of health status, dysphagia and performance status were supplemented with an instrument developed to evaluate PDT symptom relief and side effect burden, the PDT Side Effects Survey (PSES). Results: PDT patients treated with porfimer sodium (Photofrin®) and 630-nm light experienced reduced dysphagia grade and stable performance status for at least one month after PDT (N= 10-17), but these effects did not necessarily persist at three months. Fatigue, appetite and quality of life may be the most burdensome issues for these patients. Conclusions: Preliminary data suggest that the PSES is an acceptable and valid tool for measuring subjective outcomes of palliative PDT. This study is the first attempt to systematically evaluate subjective outcomes of palliative PDT. Multi-center outcomes research is needed to draw generalizable conclusions that will establish PDT's effectiveness in actual clinical practice and enhance the wider adoption of PDT as a cancer symptom relief modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Methods for Tumor Treatment and Detection: Mechanisms and Techniques in Photodynamic Therapy XI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 19 2002Jan 20 2002


  • Dyspnea
  • Instrument Development
  • Outcomes Research
  • Palliation
  • Psychometrics
  • Symptom Measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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