ML7710 for photoactivated treatment of lung cancer

Deadliest cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with more than 2.2 million cases and 1.8 million deaths each year [1]. Lung cancer can be divided into two types, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with the latter accounting for about 85% of all lung cancer cases. NSCL is usually less sensitive to chemo- and radiotherapy and in many cases tumor cannot be removed surgically or has spread from lungs to distant sites at the time of diagnosis, leading to very poor long-term survival. The overall five-year survival rate is around 25%, highlighting the aggressive nature of the disease and the high need for more effective treatment strategies.

Precision with photoactivation

Photoimmunotherapy with ML7710 offers a clinical therapeutic option for NSCLC patients even with advanced disease stage. Besides laser light, this therapy involves photoactivated drug, which can be activated precisely at the tumor site with laser fibers, hence minimizing drug effects to healthy tissues. Smaller invasiveness compared to surgery can enable patients to stay less time recovering at the hospital. It can also be repeated if needed multiple times without cumulating toxicities, unlike radiation therapy. Some previously inoperable tumors can decrease in size to allow subsequent surgical resection. Therapy is approved in many regions such Europe, USA, and Japan for treatment of NSCLC with airway obstruction, improving lung capacity and function and decreasing symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath [2]. Example treatment outcome for advanced lung cancer treated with combination of photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy is shown below.

Pictures from the original publication. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Customer case

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was founded in 1898 as the first institute in the US devoted exclusively to cancer treatment and research. It is also the place where photodynamic therapy (PDT) was developed in the late 1970s by Thomas Dougherty. The PDT center at Roswell Park is a leader in the use of photodynamic therapy for treating different cancers. Research work includes treatment planning and light dosimetry for interstitial and intraoperative PDT to improve the quality of life and survival of cancer patients who have failed to respond to standard therapies or have no effective treatments currently available.

Laser use: ML7710 (630 nm, 652 nm, 689 nm) used for treatment of lung and H&N cancer patients.

Chukwumere E. Nwogu, MD PhD

Link to the study:

Reducing recurrences intraoperatively

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the world’s best cancer hospitals that is using ML7710 for treating lung cancer patients. Because of high local recurrence of NSCLC, photodynamic therapy can be used intraoperatively to eradicate the remaining tiny, microscopic tumor cells that often cause the tumor recurrencies on the borders of the tumor cavity. In this method, a balloon type light applicator is connected to the ML7710 emitting 652 nm wavelength laser and brought into thoracic cavity after surgical removal of the primary tumor. The light dose is continuously monitored during treatment with multiple detection fibers placed in the thoracic cavity. A series of patients was successfully treated with this approach with no serious adverse events. In other cases, cylindrical diffusers can also be directly inserted inside the tumor tissue for illumination. This approach is particularly suitable for larger tumors or tumors that cannot be surgically resected.


Patient success story and surgeon interview at Roswell Park (ABC news).

The patient was able return to his normal daily activities and remains cancer-free two years after the treatment.



Hope also for nonresectable patients

ML7710 laser at 665 nm wavelength can also be used to treat intrabronchial tumors together with pharmaceutical compound chlorin e6 to achieve palliative recanalization and prevent lung from collapsing. Here light is brought to the tumor site with a bronchoscope and a cylindrical fiber which is connected to the ML7710 laser system. Intraluminal illumination method is used where diffuser fiber is brought to the close vicinity of the tumor and tumor is illuminated superficially. This type of method is particularly effective in the treatment of small inoperable tumors. Interestingly, some treated patients that have been in palliative care have achieved long-term tumor control and been able to lead high-quality life for years after treatment, likely related to induction of systemic anti-tumor immune response by the therapy.


Lung cancer patient being treated with ML7710 and chlorin e6 at the Tampere University Hospital.

The patient had a complete response and was able to return to normal daily activities.




Lung cancer is devastating disease, with high local recurrence rate and poor survival with standard therapies. Photodynamic therapy is clinically approved treatment and is less invasive and toxic than standard therapies with evidence of occasional long-term survivors even from palliative care setting. ML7710 is used in leading hospitals to treat lung cancer with encouraging outcomes. Therapy can be used to treat both inoperable tumors as well as together with surgical resection to decrease risk for local tumor recurrences.


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