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December 1992

Photodynamic Therapy in Dermatology: Shedding a Different Light on Skin Disease

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology University of British Columbia 855 W 10th Ave Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V5Z 1L7; Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine Department of Dermatology Massachusetts General Hospital Fruit Street Boston, MA 02114

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(12):1631-1636. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.04530010069011

To most dermatologists, the concept of photodynamic therapy (PDT) is synonymous with the use of porphyrins such as Photofrin (Quadra Logic Technologies Inc, Vancouver, British Columbia) in combination with laser light for treating cutaneous malignancies. In broader terms, PDT encompasses the therapeutic use of photochemical reactions mediated through the interaction of light, photosensitizing drugs, and oxygen. Thus, psoralen-ultraviolet A light treatment may represent a form of PDT in the sense that oxygen-consuming photoreactions may be involved in this form of phototherapy.1 As psoralen-ultraviolet A light treatment is already a familiar and wellestablished form of phototherapy, it will not be discussed further here. With the recent introduction of second generation PDT photosensitizing drugs into clinical trials and the application of PDT for nononcologic indications, it now seems appropriate to review the current and potential roles of PDT in dermatologic practice.

See also p 1597.

Most patients undergoing PDT have been