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Dermatol Clin. 2007 Jan;25(1):5-14.

Aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy for skin cancers.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


Aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT) is an effective and noninvasive therapy for superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and Bowen's disease. It also may have a role in the treatment of nodular BCC and other cutaneous malignancies, including localized cutaneous lymphomas. ALA-PDT offers multiple advantages over traditional treatments, including little to no scarring, excellent cosmetic results, and the ability to treat multiple lesions simultaneously. It is not an effective therapy for aggressive subtypes of BCC or for invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Finally, ALA-PDT may be a useful way to prevent new skin cancers in certain high-risk patients.

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