Efficacy of photodynamic therapy with methyl aminolevulinate in the treatment of superficial and nodular basal cell carcinoma: an open-label trial

Tiziana Surrenti, Linda De Angelis, Antonella Di Cesare, Maria Concetta Fargnoli, Ketty Peris
European Journal of Dermatology: EJD 2007, 17 (5): 412-5
Photodynamic therapy with methyl aminolevulinate (MAL-PDT) is a non-invasive therapy for superficial and nodular basal cell carcinoma (BCC). We performed an open-label trial to evaluate efficacy, safety, tolerability and cosmetic outcome of MAL-PDT in selected patients with superficial and nodular BCCs. Ninety-four superficial and 24 nodular BCCs in 69 patients were treated with 2 to 8 MAL-PDT sessions. Efficacy, safety, tolerability and cosmetic outcome were evaluated at months 1, 3, 6 and 12 after the last MAL-PDT treatment and then every 3 months. One patient discontinued the study for reasons unrelated to study procedures. Complete clinical regression was detected in 84/94 (89.4%) superficial BCCs, and 12/23 (52.2%) nodular BCCs one month after 2 MAL-PDT sessions. No further clinical improvement was observed in either superficial or nodular BCCs with treatment continuation up to a maximum of 8 MAL-PDT sessions. Adverse effects were limited to mild local skin reactions, and cosmetic outcome was rated as excellent or good. Recurrence was observed in 2/84 (2.4%) successfully treated superficial BCCs at 6 and 12 months after treatment discontinuation. Based on the efficacy, tolerability, cosmetic outcome and recurrence rate, our results support the use of MAL-PDT for treatment of superficial BCC and for selected cases of nodular BCC.

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