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Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2009 Sep-Dec;6(3-4):207-13. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2009.09.001. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

Long-term follow-up of topical 5-aminolaevulinic acid photodynamic therapy diode laser single session for non-melanoma skin cancer.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Internal Medicine, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is based on the association of a light source and light sensitive agents in order to cause the selective death of tumor cells. To evaluate topical 5-aminolaevulinic acid (5-ALA) and diode laser photodynamic single session therapy single session for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), a long-term follow-up was performed. Nineteen Bowen's disease (BD) and 15 basal cell carcinoma (BCC) lesions were submitted to 6-h topical and occlusive 20% 5-ALA plus DMSO and EDTA, and later were exposed to 630 nm diode laser, 100 or 300 J cm(-2) dose. At 3 months tumor-free rate was 91.2% (31/34) whereas at 60 months, 57.7% (15/26), slightly higher in BCC (63.6%; 7/11). The relation between the reduction of the clinical response and the increase of tumor dimension observed at 18 months was lost at 60 months. The sBCC recurrence was earlier compared to the nBCC one. ALA-PDT offered important advantages: it is minimally invasive, an option for patients under risk of surgical complications; clinical feasibility; treatment of multiple lesions in only one session or lesions in poor healing sites and superior esthetical results. However, the recurrence rate increase after ALA-PDT diode laser single session can be observed at long-term follow-up, and the repetitive sessions, an additional advantage of the method, is strongly recommended. The clinical response and recurrence time seem to be related to the laser light dose and NMSC types/sub-types, thickness and dimension, which must be considered for the choice of the ALA-PDT.

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