Topical Photodynamic Therapy in Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Penile Bowen's Disease
Yoram Harth, Bernard Hirshovitz
Photodynamic Therapy Unit, Elisha Medical Center, Haifa
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a noninvasive selective therapy for a specific group of skin tumors. 5-aminolevulinic acid 20% in a water-in-oil cream base was applied to the tumors as a photosensitizer and was followed after 12 hours by exposure to a high output light source emitting red (585-720 nm; 150 mW/cm²) and near infrared irradiation (1.25-1.6 mm; 50 mW/cm²) for 10-15 minutes (VersaLight, incoherent filtered light source). Complete responses were achieved after 1-3 treatments in 26/31 lesions of superficial or small nodular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 4/5 in superficial, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lesions. There was a patient with Bowen's disease of the penis. Follow-up was for 12-24 months. This noninvasive, nearly painless treatment gives excellent therapeutic and cosmetic results. Our data show its efficacy for certain subtypes of BCC, SCC and Bowen's disease. Further studies will determine the exact cure and recurrence rates with this modality and compare it to other modes of skin cancer therapy.