The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on photodynamic therapy for brain tumours.
Brain tumours may arise from brain tissue or spread from cancers in other parts of the body. Treatment usually consists of an operation to establish the nature of the tumour and, when possible, remove as much of it as seems safe. Photodynamic therapy (often abbreviated to PDT) has been developed as additional therapy (to enhance the effect of surgery) or as a treatment for tumours that are inoperable. It involves giving the patient a drug that makes the tissue sensitive to light. A laser light source is used during the operation and in some cases for a few days afterwards to activate the light-sensitive substance with the aim of destroying the tumour cells.