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Anticancer Res. 1998 Nov-Dec;18(6B):4651-4.

Photodynamic treatment of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma with hypericin.

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Servan Vodã Clinical Research Center for Dermatology, Bucharest, Rumania.


Hypericin displays antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects on tumor cells. This effect depends on photodynamic activation with visible light and oxygen. Hence, we explored its potential use in treating skin cancer. Eight patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and eleven patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) were treated topically with hypericin. After intralesional injection, the hypericin was irradiated with visible light. Patients with SCC were given 40-100 micrograms hypericin intralesionally, 3-5 times per week for 2-4 weeks; patients with BCC 40-200 micrograms hypericin 3-5 times per week for 2-6 weeks. Hypericin displayed selective tumor-targeting: penetration in the surrounding tissues did not induce necrosis or cell loss and even the generation of a new epithelium at the surface of the malignancy was noticed. The effectiveness of the therapy depends on the concentration and total dose of hypericin, the frequency and duration of the therapy; clinical remissions can be expected after 6-8 weeks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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