Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Photodynamic Therapy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment used for Reference nonmelanoma skin cancer Opens New Window. PDT is a process of applying a medicine and then shining a special laser light on it. It may be used to treat skin cancers when surgery or radiation can't be used.
Medicines used in PDT for skin cancer include 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), methyl aminolevulinate (MAL), and porfirmer sodium.
PDT is used to treat Reference actinic keratoses Opens New Window on the face and scalp, Reference squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen's disease) Opens New Window, and superficial Reference basal cell carcinomas Opens New Window. Studies show that cure rates for skin cancers treated with PDT may be slightly lower than surgery or radiation. But PDT does not leave a scar like surgery does.Reference 1
Studies of PDT with methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) found that this treatment was as effective as cryosurgery for actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen's disease).Reference 2
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 2, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology