Transoral robotic photodynamic therapy for the oropharynx

Harry Quon, Jarod Finlay, Keith Cengel, Timothy Zhu, Bert O'Malley, Gregory Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been used for head and neck carcinomas with little experience in the oropharynx due to technical challenges in achieving adequate exposure. We present the case of a patient with a second right tonsil carcinoma following previous treatment with transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and postoperative chemoradiation for a left tonsil carcinoma. Repeat TORS for the right tonsil carcinoma reviewed multiple positive surgical margins. The power output from the robotic camera was modified to facilitate safe intraoperative three dimensional visualization of the tumor bed. The robotic arms facilitated clear exposure of the tonsil and tongue base with stable administration of the fluence. Real-time measurements confirmed stable photobleaching with augmentation of the prescribed light fluence secondary to light scatter in the oropharynx. We report a potential new role using TORS for exposure and accurate PDT in the oropharynx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
JournalPhotodiagnosis and photodynamic therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Oropharynx
  • Photofrin PDT
  • Transoral robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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