Twenty-eight patients with gastric cancer were treated by photodynamic therapy. Haematoporphyrin derivative was used as a photosensitizer and an argon dye laser as a light source. Histologically, all tumours were adenocarcinomas. On the basis of endoscopy, 17 cases were categorized as early-stage cancer and were classified as type IIc (10 lesions), Ha (three lesions), combined type IIc and type III (three lesions) and type I (two lesions). In 11 patients with advanced-stage cancer, endoscopy showed one case of Borrmann I, three of Borrmann II, six of Borrmann III and a single case of Borrmann IV. In the 17 patients with early-stage cancers (18 lesions), complete remission was obtained in 10 patients (11 lesions). Of 13 resected cancers complete remission was confirmed in six lesions on the basis of detailed histological examination of resected specimens. In the advanced stage tumours all 11 patients showed incomplete remissions. It is considered that an incomplete response in the early-stage cancers is due to insufficient light dosage because of the wide area of tumour, because the site of the lesion is anatomically difficult to photoradiate and because the invasion extends to the muscular layer and serosa.
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