OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, long-term outcome and prognostic factors of feline squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) treated with photodynamic therapy (PDT).
METHODS: Cats with histologically verified SCC of the head and neck received an intravenous injection of liposomal phosphorylated meta-tetra(hydroxylphenyl)chlorine (mTHPC) and 4 h later 652 nm light was delivered by a diode laser. One group received ⩽10 J/cm2, the other 20 J/cm2. Tumour response and duration were analysed with stage, tumour diameter, location and treatment intensity as prognostic factors.
RESULTS: In total, 63 lesions in 38 cats underwent treatment with ⩽10 J/cm2 (n = 22) and 20 J/cm2 (n = 41). Overall response rate was 84% (complete remission 61%, partial remission 22%) with a mean progression-free interval of 35 months (median not reached) and a median overall survival time of 40 months (95% confidence interval 33-47). With regard to tumour stage, invasiveness yielded a highly significant worse outcome ( P <0.017). All patients with invasive tumours showed progression at less than 6 months. Larger lesions were associated with inferior control and treatment intensity, and tumour location did not influence response and duration.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: PDT using a systemic photosensitiser leads to excellent long-term tumour control in the majority of cats. However, invasive and large tumours had a clearly inferior outcome, even if treated with the higher-dose intensity. This suggests that advanced lesions are not indications for PDT.