Photodynamic therapy with 5-aminolaevulinic acid, dimethylsulfoxide and curettage in basal cell carcinoma: a 6-year clinical and histological follow-up

E Christensen, E Skogvoll, T Viset, T Warloe, S Sundstrøm
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV 2009, 23 (1): 58-66

BACKGROUND: Long-term follow-up data are needed to evaluate treatment effect after photodynamic therapy (PDT).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate long-term clinical, histological and cosmetic follow-up results in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) after PDT, including treatment response related to patients and lesion characteristics.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A longitudinal study of 44 patients with 60 histologically verified BCC tumours, treated with one or two sessions of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)-supported 5-aminolaevulinic acid--PDT following curettage, was performed. Lesions in complete remission after 3 months were followed with clinical inspection, histological investigation and evaluation of cosmetic outcome at regular intervals; long-term efficacy assessed as verified recurrence within 72 months after PDT.

RESULTS: Complete remission at 3 months was achieved in 55 lesions from 39 patients. Two patients with one lesion each died. At 72 months, 43 of 53 lesions remained disease-free (81%); 68% remained after one treatment session, and 91% remained after two treatment sessions. Recurrence of tumour occurred at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months in 2, 4, 2 and 2 lesions, respectively; clinical investigation identified 97% of them. Male sex and H-mid-face zone were significantly associated with recurrence. The cosmetic outcome at 72 months was rated as good or excellent by patients and investigators in more than 90% of evaluated cases.

CONCLUSION: DMSO-PDT following curettage is an effective treatment for BCC, with favourable long-term clinical, histopathological and cosmetic results. Clinical examination of treated lesions appears to be sufficient for long term follow up.

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