Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been demonstrated to be an effective minimally invasive treatment modality for early esophageal cancer. However, the molecular action in esophageal cancer during PDT is hardly known. EGFR has been known to downregulate in various cancer cells during PDT. In this study, we investigated the effects of Photofrin-mediated PDT on cell death and expression of EGFR in CE48T/VGH (CE48T) esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells. We found that the photosensitizer Photofrin in the absence of light exposure can downregulate the expression of EGFR at both transcription and translation levels. Higher concentrations of Photofrin results in cytotoxicity whereas lower doses of Photofrin inhibit EGFR expression under dark control without inducing significant cell death. This Photofrin-associated inhibition of EGFR was repeated in lung cancer, cervical cancer, and glioblastoma cells. Another esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell line CE81T/VGH (CE81T) was found to be resistant to Photofrin-induced inhibition of EGFR as well as to Photofrin-mediated dark toxicity compared with CE48T. The resistance to the cytotoxicity in CE81T cells became insignificant when the Photofrin-treated cells were further irradiated by red light (Photofrin-PDT). We suggest Photofrin modulates the expression of EGFR in cancer cells. However, efficient cell death still requires the combination of Photofrin and light irradiation in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells.