Photodynamic Therapy in Treating Patients With Resectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer That Has Spread to the Pleura

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00601848
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : January 28, 2008
Last Update Posted : September 26, 2016
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania

Brief Summary:

RATIONALE: Photodynamic therapy uses a drug, such as porfimer sodium, that is absorbed by tumor cells. The drug becomes active when it is exposed to light. When the drug is active, tumor cells are killed. Giving photodynamic therapy during surgery may kill any tumor cells that remain after surgery.

PURPOSE: This phase II trial is studying the side effects and how well photodynamic therapy given during surgery works in treating patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to the pleura.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Lung Cancer Metastatic Cancer Drug: chemotherapy Drug: porfimer sodium Other: immunohistochemistry staining method Other: laboratory biomarker analysis Procedure: spectroscopy Procedure: therapeutic conventional surgery Phase 2

Detailed Description:



  • To determine the overall survival rate of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and malignant pleural spread treated with standard front-line chemotherapy followed by surgical resection and intra-operative porfimer sodium (Photofrin®)-mediated photodynamic therapy.
  • To determine the feasibility and toxicities of standard front-line chemotherapy followed by surgical resection and intra-operative Photofrin®-mediated photodynamic therapy in these patients.


  • To determine the progression-free survival and pleural progression-free survival of these patients.
  • To determine the absolute Photofrin® levels in tumor and normal tissues resected from these patients using spectrofluorometric methods.
  • To determine the tumor to normal tissue ratios of Photofrin® in these patients.
  • To measure the optical properties of tumor and normal tissues in situ.
  • To compare the Photofrin® concentration of tumor and normal tissues made with the in situ measurements to the measurements made with spectrofluorometric method.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.

Patients receive 2-4 courses of standard front-line chemotherapy prior to surgery (if they have not completed the front-line chemotherapy).

Patients receive porfimer sodium (Photofrin®) IV over 5-15 minutes. Approximately 24 hours after receiving porfimer sodium, patients undergo surgery to remove the primary tumor and the pleural disease to a thickness of 5 mm or less*. Patients then undergo intraoperative photodynamic therapy to the residual disease. Some patients may undergo postoperative radiotherapy to the mediastinum and/or surgical scar if clinically indicated.

NOTE: *If the disease cannot be resected to less than 5 mm, PDT will not be delivered

Tumor and normal tissue samples are obtained from the surgical specimen and examined prior to light delivery at the time of thoracotomy, and after light delivery. Tissue samples are analyzed for porphyrin levels using a spectrofluorometric assay of tissue specimens and an in situ optical method intra-operatively. Samples are also assessed for V-cadherin, markers for oxidative stress, markers associated with photosensitizer uptake, markers for angiogenesis, markers for hypoxia, activation of signaling pathway components (including EGFR, p38 MAPK, Akt, and p42/44 MAPK) via immunohistochemistry.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed periodically for 2 years.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 9 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase II Study of Pleural Photodynamic Therapy for Patients With Non-small Cell Lung Cancer and Pleural Spread
Study Start Date : November 2004
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2012

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Lung Cancer

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Toxicities of pleural photodynamic therapy
  2. Feasibility
  3. Overall survival
  4. Pleural progression-free survival

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Progression-free survival
  2. Photofrin® uptake in normal and tumor cells both directly and indirectly by optimal methods

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 120 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

    • Must have clinical and/or pathological evidence of pleural spread
    • Primary tumor must be resectable as assessed by the attending thoracic surgeon
  • Patients who have received or are currently receiving two-to-four courses of standard front-line chemotherapy are eligible


  • Must be medically fit to tolerate surgery
  • No CTCAE v3.0 grade III-IV elevations in liver transaminases
  • Bilirubin ≤ 1.5 mg/dL
  • No known HIV infection
  • Not pregnant or nursing


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • No prior treatment for NSCLC except pleurodesis or standard front-line chemotherapy
  • No prior pemetrexed disodium chemotherapy
  • No prior mantle radiotherapy
  • No concurrent chemotherapy or radiotherapy during the active study treatment period

    • Post-operative radiotherapy will be administered as clinically indicated

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00601848

United States, Pennsylvania
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104-4283
Sponsors and Collaborators
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Keith Cengel, MD, PhD Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania

Responsible Party: Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT00601848     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000583050
First Posted: January 28, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 26, 2016
Last Verified: September 2016

Keywords provided by Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania:
stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer
stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer
malignant pleural effusion

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Neoplasms
Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
Neoplasm Metastasis
Respiratory Tract Neoplasms
Thoracic Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Carcinoma, Bronchogenic
Bronchial Neoplasms
Neoplastic Processes
Pathologic Processes
Dihematoporphyrin Ether
Antineoplastic Agents
Dermatologic Agents
Photosensitizing Agents