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Voice-saver: Light therapy for early-stage laryngeal cancer
Date:1/28/2011

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Since photodynamic therapy does not damage the underlying tissue, it not only allows for multiple treatments but also for it to be given prior to or following other therapies, and when radiation therapy fails.

However, there is not a consensus in research literature as to which treatment surgery, radiation therapy or photodynamic therapy produces the best outcome for voice preservation.

The current Henry Ford study focuses on 10 patients with early stage squamous cell tumors of the larynx treated with photodynamic therapy. The study assessed how well the vocal cords moved following photodynamic therapy.

Both before and after photodynamic therapy, patients underwent videostroboscopy exams, a state-of-the-art technique that provides a magnified, slow-motion view of the vocal cords in use. The technique uses a small, angled telescope inserted through the mouth or nose to measure vocal cord vibrations while patients repeat words or sounds.

Results were analyzed by a speech language pathologist and laryngologist specializing in voice disorders for vocal cord movement and vibration.

During the first five weeks following treatment, researchers noted a significant worsening in the non-vibrating portion of the affected vocal cords, which is expected, says Dr. Somers.

Ten weeks following treatment, there was a noticeable improvement.

"In our study, patients undergoing PDT demonstrated initial significant impairment in the vocal cord vibratory parameters of mucosal wave, non-vibrating vocal cold and amplitude of vibration as well as appearance of vocal cold edge for both the tumor and non-tumor side," says Dr. Somers. "Most notably, over the course of a few weeks and months, there were consistent trends toward normal vocal cord vibration."

Patients do experience minor side effects from treatment such as photosensitivity, making them more sensitive to light and susceptible to severe sunbu
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Contact: Krista Hopson
khopson1@hfhs.org
313-874-7207
Henry Ford Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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