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Photochem Photobiol. 2000 Jun;71(6):724-9.

Photodynamic therapy of superficial basal cell carcinoma with 5-aminolevulinic acid with dimethylsulfoxide and ethylendiaminetetraacetic acid: a comparison of two light sources.

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Photodynamic Out-patient Clinic, Norwegian Radium Hospital and Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo, Norway.


The aim of this prospective randomized study was to compare the clinical and cosmetic outcome of superficial basal cell carcinomas (BCC), using either laser or broadband halogen light, in photodynamic therapy with topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). A total of 83 patients with 245 superficial BCC were included in the study. Standard treatment involved 15 min of local pretreatment with 99% dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) before topical application of 20% ALA with DMSO (2%) and ethylendiaminetetraacetic acid (2%) as cofactors for 3 h before light exposure with either laser or a broadband lamp (BL). A complete response was achieved in 95 lesions (86%) in the laser group and 110 lesions (82%) in the BL group 6 months after treatment. Of these, 80 lesions (84%) in the laser group and 101 lesions (92%) in the lamp group were independently evaluated to have an excellent or good cosmetic post-treatment score. No serious adverse events were reported. This study shows that there is no statistical significant difference in cure the rate (P = 0.49) and the cosmetic outcome (P = 0.075) with topical application of a modified ALA-cream between light exposure from a simple BL with continuous spectrum (570-740 nm) or from a red-light laser (monochromatic 630 nm). Cost and safety are further elements in favor of the BL in this setting.

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