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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1996 Jul 25;224(3):819-24.

Accumulation of 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX in normal and neoplastic human endometrial epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinic of Gynecology, University Hospital, Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


The aim of this study was to evaluate 5-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-induced fluorescence of normal and neoplastic endometrial epithelial cells for diagnosis and photodynamic treatment. Fluorescence of ALA-induced PpIX in vitro was measured by flow cytometry in two different human endometrial adenocarcinoma cell lines and in normal cells cultivated from fresh endometrial tissue of three premenopausal patients. The cells were analysed after incubation with different concentrations of ALA during 3, 6, or 24 hours. Both tumor cell lines showed a statistically significant higher fluorescence of PpIX than normal epithelial cells after incubation with 1 mg ALA per ml medium during 24 hours. The well-differentiated cancer cells produced significantly more PpIX than the poorly differentiated cancer cells. Relative PpIX intensity of the two cancer cell lines correlated with cell proliferation rate as measured by the doubling times of the cells. Higher accumulation of Pp IX in neoplastic endometrium compared to normal endometrial epithelial cells may provide targeted biopsies and selective photodynamic destruction of neoplastic micro-lesions.

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