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Photonics Lasers Med. 2013 Nov 1;2(4):287-303.

Techniques for fluorescence detection of protoporphyrin IX in skin cancers associated with photodynamic therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA; and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
2
Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 14 Engineering Drive, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.
3
Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA; Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; and Department of Dermatology, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

Abstract

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment modality that uses a specific photosensitizing agent, molecular oxygen, and light of a particular wavelength to kill cells targeted by the therapy. Topically administered aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is widely used to effectively treat cancerous and precancerous skin lesions, resulting in targeted tissue damage and little to no scarring. The targeting aspect of the treatment arises from the fact that ALA is preferentially converted into protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) in neoplastic cells. To monitor the amount of PpIX in tissues, techniques have been developed to measure PpIX-specific fluorescence, which provides information useful for monitoring the abundance and location of the photosensitizer before and during the illumination phase of PDT. This review summarizes the current state of these fluorescence detection techniques. Non-invasive devices are available for point measurements, or for wide-field optical imaging, to enable monitoring of PpIX in superficial tissues. To gain access to information at greater tissue depths, multi-modal techniques are being developed which combine fluorescent measurements with ultrasound or optical coherence tomography, or with microscopic techniques such as confocal or multiphoton approaches. The tools available at present, and newer devices under development, offer the promise of better enabling clinicians to inform and guide PDT treatment planning, thereby optimizing therapeutic outcomes for patients.

KEYWORDS:

fluorescence; photodynamic therapy; protoporphyrin IX; treatment planning

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