New Technology for Treating Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death with a poor prognosis- even in the best of cases with earlier stages that are treatable with apparent complete surgical resection, tumor recurrence remains common and a fundamental challenge in overall survival. Adjuvant therapies to address recurrence are often limited by cost and toxicity. With its negligible side effects, PDT presents an attractive alternative applied as an intraoperative procedure following tumor resection, but unfortunately many times is minimally effective due to its current treatment delivery mode. Lumeda is introducing new technology that enables a practical yet effective IO-PDT procedure as a new adjuvant treatment option in NSCLC surgery.
Breakthrough IO-PDT Device Innovation
PDT is an established treatment for a range of cancers, but despite the promise of IO-PDT in NSCLC surgery, its broad adoption is hindered by manual light delivery in the current IO-PDT procedure which is difficult and cumbersome, but more importantly manual light delivery is not well controlled or monitored, leading to inconsistency and unreliability of PDT effectiveness and results. A novel optical surface applicator (OSA) device demonstrated by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York, provides a more efficient and controlled means of PDT light delivery over traditional methods. This innovation enables a short, simplified, and automated IO-PDT procedure following NSCLC tumor resection with improved PDT light dosimetry, resulting in a step improvement in PDT efficacy, consistency, and reliability.
DigiLum™ IO-PDT Solution
Building off the OSA device innovation, Lumeda leverages decades of photonics experience to develop DigiLum™ solution- a digital PDT light dosimetry platform that imparts intelligence and control of PDT light delivery to improve its efficacy, ease of use, and treatment planning. DigiLum™ solution comes as a portable, stand-alone solution that integrates a set of main components including a treatment planning software module, light delivery device, light source instrument, and PDT dosimetry control and data acquisition software. DigiLum™ is intended for administering a prescribed light dose rate and total dose for effective activation of PHOTOFRIN® (porfimer sodium) as an adjuvant PDT treatment following NSCLC surgical resection for control of the cancer in the thoracic cavity.
The Promise of IO-PDT In Lung Cancer SURGERY
PDT is safe even when combined with other adjunctive therapies and can be repeated without additive side effects or loss of efficacy. PDT presents minimal normal tissue toxicity, negligible systemic effects, lack of resistance mechanisms, and excellent cosmetic as well as organ function-sparing effects. Of new lung cancer cases, 83% are NSCLC of which up to 46% are surgical candidates. Tumor resection is the preferred treatment of early stage NSCLC followed by adjuvant treatment (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy). Results of numerous early studies show meaningful reduction in recurrence when adding IO-PDT to NSCLC tumor resection to address tumor margin, improve local control of the primary tumor site, and to reduce pleural spread. Reduced recurrence attributable to IO-PDT, has led to significantly improved patient outcomes in progression-free and overall survival. DigiLum™ provides a practical pathway for IO-PDT to be added to the Standard of Care in NSCLC surgery to improve surgical outcomes, benefiting patient care without preventing other treatment options.
COMBINATION PDT + IMMUNOTHERAPY
It is well understood that PDT provokes a strong acute inflammatory reaction observed as localized edema at the targeted site- a result of PDT-induced oxidative stress which can activate an immune response against tumor cells. NSCLC tumors are infiltrated with cells that secrete immunosuppressive cytokines and express immunoregulatory, checkpoint molecules that impair anti-tumor immunity. Numerous recent studies have indicated that cancer tumors treated with PDT can stimulate the host antitumor response that can alter the immune contexture to overcome tumor immunosuppressive activity and potentially open a window for broader use of immunotherapy. Lumeda is working with institutional partners to study the immune response of NSCLC to PDT, with the ultimate goal of developing a combination PDT + Immunotherapy as a first-line treatment of later stage NSCLC and Malignant Mesothelioma.