Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Photochem Photobiol B. 2001 Sep 15;62(3):140-5.

Selective distribution of porphyrins in skin thick basal cell carcinoma after topical application of methyl 5-aminolevulinate.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, University of Oslo, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway.


Topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) of superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC) with 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) has achieved promising clinical results. However, the efficacy of this therapy for thick BCC is dramatically decreased by a limited diffusion of hydrophilic ALA into the tumor. Lipophilic esters of ALA may enhance their penetration into the lesion. In this randomized, open clinical study, microscopic fluorescence photometry incorporating a light-sensitive thermo-electrically cooled charge-coupled device (CCD) camera was employed to investigate the penetration of methyl 5-aminolevulinate-induced porphyrin fluorescence in thick BCC lesions. Both the distribution pattern and the amount of porphyrins in 32 lesions of 16 patients were studied after topical application of 16, 80 or 160 mg/g of methyl 5-aminolevulinate for 3 or 18 h. A highly selective and homogeneous distribution of methyl 5-aminolevulinate-induced porphyrin fluorescence was seen in all lesions studied, with much less fluorescence in the adjacent normal skin tissues. In lesions of up to 2 mm thickness the application of 160 mg/g methyl 5-aminolevulinate for 3 h showed the highest ratio of porphyrin fluorescence depth to tumor depth (0.98+/-0.04), thus providing a biologic rationale for a clinical PDT trial with this regimen.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk