The UK’s integrative cancer care charityHelpline 0870 163 2990
This window has opened in a new tab in your browser. Your Search Results can still be seen in the original tab. You can keep several tabs open if you wish, or simply close each one as you finish reading it.
Important Information:
Yes to Life's website content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information is for educational and informational purposes only and has not been reviewed by medical doctors or oncologists. Cancer is a highly complex group of diseases, and it is known to manifest differently in different people, often responding more favourably to individualised approaches to treatment and care. Yes to Life advocates that any person diagnosed with, or suspected of having, cancer, consults with a suitably qualified and experienced medical professional before initiating any type of therapy or supportive treatment. Click here to read our full Disclaimer.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Also Known As:
PDT, Cytoluminescent Therapy, CLT, Phototherapy

A photosensitising (light activated) drug is first administered to patients followed by irradiation of cancerous tissue with laser light, which converts the drug into a powerful cytotoxic (cell destroying) agent. This therapy is applicable to a wide range of solid tumours, the limiting factor often being access to the tumour to perform the procedure.


Photodynamic Therapy takes advantage of a chemical interaction between light and a light-activated drug (photosensitiser) to start a series of chemical reactions that kill tumours. With modern photosensitisers, certain physiological properties of tumour tissue can be exploited to retain high concentrations of the drug in cancerous tissues only. Cytoluminescent Therapy (CLT) is a recent development in the field of Photodynamic Therapy that uses a specific extract of chlorophyll A, trade name Photoflora as its photosensitiser.

Photoflora can be given to a patient orally and accumulates selectively in tumour sites and is cleared from the skin between 24-48 hours so that sun sensitivity is not a problem as it can be in some other photosensitisers. Previous photosensitisers required the use of lasers, but Photoflora is a whole body therapy with the use of a specialised light bed to sensitise the agent. The agent used is sensitive to ultrasound as well as to red light, therefore allowing deeper penetration.

The therapy can be often repeated as Photfloras ability to keep photosensitive can last up to 90 days. Advanced tumours are treated slowly to avoid rapid breakdown. This method shows promise but would still be described by medical authorities as experimental and unproven. Due to lack of penetration, its effectiveness is limited to lesions on or close to the surface of the body. PDT has now an established evidence base whilst CLT is largely untrialed.


Therapeutic properties of light have been known and used for thousands of years. Indian, ancient Egyptian and Chinese civilisations have used light to treat various diseases such as psoriasis, rickets and types of skin cancer. In Denmark at the end of the nineteenth century, Niels Finsen developed the use of red light to treat smallpox and ultraviolet light to treat tuberculosis. This was the start of modern Light Therapy. Finsen was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1903 for his work. Two German medical students, Oscar Raab and Herman Von Tappeiner went on to further develop this therapy using certain wavelengths


Photodynamic Therapy is available on the NHS but will not often be offered as an option. If you are interested in considering PDT then you may need to ask for a referral.

Report An Error
Dr Ernest Allan
Manchester, UK - England (North)

Dr Allan has retired from NHS work but holds an honorary post at the Christie Hospital. He has rooms at Calderbank Medical Chambers in Manchester. ...
Dr Stephen Bown
London, UK - England (South East)

Dr Stephen Bown is leader of the research facility, and the pioneer of minimally invasive treatments for a range of cancers using thermal lasers and photodynamic therapy ...
Dr Colin Hopper
London, UK - England (South East)

Dr Hopper at University College London Hospital is the only clinician in the NHS who offers Photodynamic Therapy for deeper cancers that would otherwise require surgery. ...
Dr Garrett Swetlikoff
Kelowna, Canada

Dr Garrett Swetlikoff, a naturopathic physician, is a 1988 graduate of Bastyr University, where he obtained a degree in Naturopathic Medicine ...
BioMed Klinik
Bad Bergzabern, Germany

This specialist clinic offers a range of integrative treatments including hyperthermia to cancer patients. The staff include oncologists, ...
Cancer Centre London
London, UK - England (South East)

The complementary therapy service at Parkside Hospital is an integral part of the overall oncology healthcare service, and offers a wide range of support to patients during their treatment at the Centre. ...
Carpathia Whole Life Health
Dallas, USA

Carpathia Whole Life Health’s integrative approach helps support the immune system, making the body’s terrain less hospitable to cancer ...
Immune Augmentation Therapy at Quantum Immunotherapy
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island

The basic objective of the Quantum Immunotherapy program is to restore optimal balance and function to the immune system so that cancer cells will be recognised and destroyed ...
Bucharest, Romania

ImunoMedica provides oncology patients a multi-disciplinary and personalised approach that follows the principle that each patient is entirely unique and must be treated holistically, body-mind-soul ...
Kelowna Naturopathic Clinic
Kelowna, Canada

Kelowna Naturopathic Clinic Inc is a complementary, naturopathic medical centre located in Canada, founded by medical director is Dr Garrett G Swetlikoff, ND ...
Klinik St. George
Bad Aibling, Germany

Klinik St George is an integrated clinic offering conventional medicine (surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy) and nutritional supplements ...
Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine

The Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine was founded by Constantine A. Kotsanis, MD, and provides personalised care, drawing from Dr Kotsanis’ three-decade clinical experience ...
Lemmo Integrated Cancer Care Centre
Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Walter Lemmo is founder and Medical Director of LEMMO Integrated Cancer Care, a naturopathic facility focused exclusively in cancer care ...
Nuffield Health Cancer Centre London
London, UK

Nuffield Health Cancer Centre London’s team of cancer specialists aims to support you through your personal cancer journey providing a tailored care plan ...
Paracelsus Klinik Biological Medicine

The holistic cancer therapy at the Paracelsus Clinic is based on restoring the healthy organism, improving cellular immune strength ...
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, United States

Roswell Park helps set international standards in cancer care through its role as a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network ...
The Center for Advanced Medicine

The Center for Advanced Medicine (TCFAM) offers Integrative Oncology with highly customised programmes focused on individual needs and care ...
The Devonshire Clinic

The Devonshire Clinic specialises in private skin cancer treatments. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an advanced technique for treating certain types of skin cancer ...
Thera Praxisklinik
Berlin, Germany

Dr. med. Ralf Heinrich is a medical doctor and a naturopathic doctor, as well as the head of the THERA Practice Clinic ...
Verita Life
Bangkok, Thailand

Verita Life’s individualised alternative treatment approach ensures that the treatment you receive is entirely tailoured to your individual condition ...
Yorkshire Laser Centre
Goole, UK - England (North)

The Yorkshire Laser Centre provides a range of medical laser services to the NHS, including photodynamic therapy (PDT) and screening with photo-detection fluorescence bronchoscopy ...
Zentrum der Erweiterten Medizin
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Zentrum der Erweiterten Medizin (Center for Advanced Medicine) in Frankfurt Germany combines conventional medicine and complementary medicine ...
Information & Advice
Cancer Information and Support Society (CISS)
St Leonards, Global (ie: web based)

CISS promotes non-toxic holistic medicine. The educational organisation promotes prevention, self-help and freedom of choice in therapies for cancer...
Cancer Options Ltd
Nottingham, Global (ie: web based)

Led by Patricia Peat, an experienced oncology nurse, Cancer Options offers support and information on orthodox treatments, clinical trials and developments worldwide. ...
Canhelp Inc
Livingstone, United States

CANHELP serves patients and/or family members who wish to take an active part in the healing process and are willing to think outside the conventional medical box ...
Yes to Life
London, UK - England (South East)

Yes to Life is a charity that offers support to people with cancer in the UK who want to take a proactive role in their treatment ...
Scottish Photodynamic Therapy Centre (The)
Dundee, UK - Scotland

The Scottish PDT Centre has the primary objective of providing Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for cancer and pre-malignant conditions ...
Yorkshire Laser Centre
Goole, UK - England (North)

Professor Keyvan Moghissi is the Clinical Director of The Yorkshire Laser Centre which is funded predominately by charitable donations through the Moghissi Laser Trust ...