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December 1992

Photodynamic Therapy for the Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Photodynamic Therapy Center and Department of Dermatology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(12):1597-1601. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.04530010035004

• Background.  —Photodynamic therapy is an investigational method for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimum factors and illustrate the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of basal cell carcinomas. This was a prospective study in which patients presenting with primary or recurrent basal cell tumors, particularly but not exclusively widespread tumors or large single tumors, were offered the option of photodynamic therapy in their treatment regimen.

Results.  —Patients were administered 1 mg/kg of a photosensitizer (Photofrin II). Light doses (630 nm) ranged from 72 to 288 J/cm2. A total of 37 patients with 151 sites were treated in this study. A complete response rate of 88% was achieved with one application. Morbidity was low; the most significant side effects were moderate pain and edema.

Conclusions.  —Photodynamic therapy is a modality that offers localized treatment of primary or recurrent nonmelanoma skin cancer. By applying reciprocal doses of photosensitizer and light, the efficacy of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of skin lesions is demonstrated achieving significant light penetration into tissue with a high complete response rate of the lesions and acceptable normal tissue response.

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