Clinical Trial, Phase III
Comparative Study
Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Photodynamic therapy with BF-200 ALA for the treatment of actinic keratosis: results of a multicentre, randomized, observer-blind phase III study in comparison with a registered methyl-5-aminolaevulinate cream and placebo.

BACKGROUND: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) or its methylester [methyl-5-aminolaevulinate (MAL) or 5-amino-4-oxopentanoate] was recently ranked as first-line therapy for the treatment of actinic keratosis (AK) and is an accepted therapeutic option for the treatment of neoplastic skin diseases. BF-200 ALA (Biofrontera Bioscience GmbH, Leverkusen, Germany) is a gel formulation of ALA with nanoemulsion for the treatment of AK which overcomes previous problems of ALA instability and improves skin penetration.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of PDT of AKs with BF-200 ALA in comparison with a registered MAL cream and with placebo.

METHODS: The study was performed as a randomized, multicentre, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, interindividual trial with BF-200 ALA, a registered MAL cream and placebo in a ratio of 3:3:1. Six hundred patients, each with four to eight mild to moderate AK lesions on the face and/or the bald scalp, were enrolled in 26 study centres in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Patients received one PDT. If residual lesions remained at 3months after treatment, PDT was repeated.

RESULTS: PDT with BF-200 ALA was superior to placebo PDT with respect to patient complete clearance rate (78·2% vs. 17·1%; P<0·0001) and lesion complete clearance rate (90·4% vs. 37·1%) at 3months after the last PDT. Moreover, superiority was demonstrated over the MAL cream regarding the primary endpoint patient complete clearance (78·2% vs. 64·2%; P<0·05). Significant differences in the patient and lesion complete clearance rates and severity of treatment-related adverse events were observed for the narrow- and broad-spectrum light sources.

CONCLUSIONS: BF-200 ALA is a very effective, well-tolerated new formulation for AK treatment with PDT and is superior to a registered MAL medication. Efficacies and adverse events vary greatly with the different light sources used.

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