Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment used for
nonmelanoma skin cancer. PDT is a process of applying
a medicine and then shining a special laser light on it. It may be used to treat skin cancers when surgery or radiation can't be used.
Medicines used in PDT for skin cancer include 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), methyl aminolevulinate (MAL), and porfirmer sodium.
PDT is used to treat
actinic keratoses on the face and scalp,
squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen's disease), and superficial
basal cell carcinomas. Studies show that cure rates for skin cancers treated with PDT may be slightly lower than surgery or radiation. But PDT does not leave a scar like surgery does.1
Studies of PDT with methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) found that this treatment was as effective as cryosurgery for actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen's disease).2
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2012). Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, Version 2. Available online: http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/PDF/nmsc.pdf.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2010). Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, Version 1. Available online: http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/PDF/nmsc.pdf.
October 2, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
We are happy to take your appointment request over the phone, or, you may fill out an online request form.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.