Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 173–186

Laser and Non-laser Light Sources for Photodynamic Therapy

  • L. Brancaleon
  • H. Moseley
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s101030200027

Cite this article as:
Brancaleon, L. & Moseley, H. Lasers Med Sci (2002) 17: 173. doi:10.1007/s101030200027


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an anticancer combination therapy, which requires a photosensitiser, which tends to accumulate preferentially in the tumour, and light. Historically large, complex lasers have been used to carry out PDT treatment. Nowadays there is a wide range of coherent and non-coherent sources that can be used. This paper considers the important characteristics of light sources for PDT, including dye lasers pumped by argon or metal vapour lasers and frequency-doubled Nd:YAG lasers. Non-laser sources including tungsten filament, xenon arc, metal halide and fluorescent lamps are also discussed. New exiciting developments such as LEDs and femtosecond lasers are also reviewed. The relative merits of laser and non-laser sources are critically examined.

Keywords: Cancer treatment; Light sources; Photodynamic therapy (PDT); Photosensitisers 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Brancaleon
    • 1
  • H. Moseley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UKGB
  2. 2.The Photobiology Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UKGB