Head and Neck Oncology


Hamdoon Z, Jerjes W, Al-Delayme R, Hopper C. Solitary giant neurofibroma of the neck subjected to photodynamic therapy: case study. Head Neck Oncol. 2012 Jun 6;4(1):30.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) - the fourth modality - has been successfully used in the management of early and advanced pathologies of the head and neck. We studied the effect of this modality on a giant solitary neurofibroma of the neck.

A 70-year-old Caucasian female presented with left neck pain and disfigurement associated with slight shortness of breath and dysphagia. Examination revealed a large mass in the neck with no neurovascular compromise. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reported a heterogeneously enhancing mass extending from the left angle of the mandible to the base of the neck. A core biopsy was performed and histopathological examination revealed a disorganised array of peripheral nerve fascicles.

The patient elected to receive photodynamic therapy as the primary intervention. The multi-disciplinary meeting approved the treatment plan.

The photosensitizing agent was mTHPC (0.15mg/kg), which was systemically administered 96-hours prior to ultrasound (US)-guided light delivery to the mass, which was undertaken under general anaesthesia. Recovery was uneventful.

Post-PDT follow-up showed that the patient's pain, dysphagia and shortness of breath issues had improved. The disfigurement of the neck caused by the mass was no longer a problem. Three months post-PDT, MRI revealed a significant reduction in the neurofibroma size.

PDT was proven as a successful primary intervention for this pathology. However, higher evidence-based studies are required before this therapy can be proposed as a replacement to any of the other conventional therapies.

Corresponding Author

Waseem Jerjes (waseem_wk1@yahoo.co.uk) - Colin Hopper (c.hopper@ucl.ac.uk)