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Porfimer sodium

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Title: Porfimer sodium  
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Subject: List of drugs: Pj-Pra, Chemotherapy, Cell-cycle nonspecific antineoplastic agents, Hazardous drugs, Thiopurine
Collection: Photosensitizing Agents
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Porfimer sodium

Porfimer sodium
Clinical data
Licence data EMA:, US FDA:
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Legal status
Routes of
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability NA
Protein binding ~90%
Biological half-life 21.5 days (mean)
Excretion Fecal
CAS Registry Number  N 87806-31-3
ATC code L01
PubChem CID:
DrugBank  N
ChemSpider  Y
Chemical data
Formula C68H74N8O11 (for n=0)
Molecular mass 1179.36 g/mol (for n=0)

Porfimer sodium, sold as Photofrin, is a photosensitizer used in photodynamic therapy and radiation therapy and for palliative treatment of obstructing endobronchial non-small cell lung carcinoma and obstructing esophageal cancer.

Porfimer is a mixture of oligomers formed by ether and ester linkages of up to eight porphyrin units.[1] In practice, a red light source emitting at 630 nm is used to excite the Porfimer oligomers.[2]

Porfimer is Haematoporphyrin Derivative (HpD) (See PDT).

Approvals and indications

It was approved in Canada in 1993 for the treatment of bladder cancer.[2] It was approved in Japan in 1994 (for early stage lung cancer?).[2] It was approved by the U.S. FDA in December 1995 for esophageal cancer, and in 1998, it was approved for the treatment of early non-small cell lung cancer.[2]

In August 2003 the FDA approved its use for Barrett's esophagus.[3]


  1. ^ "Porfimer injection Prescribing information" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c d "Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Lung Cancers". 2006. 
  3. ^ "FDA Patient Safety News: Show #20, October 2003". October 2003. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 

External links

  • Photofrin
  • Photofrin marketing info
  • Side effects of PDT with Photofrin
  • History of Photofrin
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