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Long-term (6 and 12 months) follow-up of two prospective, randomized, controlled phase III trials of photodynamic therapy with BF-200 ALA and methyl aminolaevulinate for the treatment of actinic keratosis.

BACKGROUND: Two phase III trials of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with BF-200 ALA, a recently approved nanoemulsion formulation of 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) demonstrated high clearance rates in mild-to-moderate actinic keratosis (AK). The comparison to a registered methyl aminolaevulinate (MAL) cream demonstrated significantly superior total patient clearance rates.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate long-term efficacy and safety of PDT for AK 6 and 12 months after the last PDT with BF-200 ALA, MAL or placebo.

METHODS: The follow-up phase (FUP) was performed with patients of two phase III studies. Both studies compared BF-200 ALA with placebo, one of the studies additionally with MAL. Overall recurrence rates and various subgroups (light source, lesion severity, lesion location, complete responders after first PDT) were assessed 6 and 12 months after the last PDT.

RESULTS: Recurrence rates were similar for BF-200 ALA and MAL, with a tendency to lower recurrence rates for BF-200 ALA. The proportion of patients who were fully cleared during PDT and remained completely clear for at least 12 months after PDT were 47% for BF-200 ALA (both studies) and 36% for MAL treatment. The subgroup that was illuminated with narrow wavelength LED lamps reached 69% and 53% for BF-200 ALA (both studies, respectively) and 41% for MAL. No safety concerns were reported.

CONCLUSIONS: The FUP data confirmed the high efficacy and safety of PDT with BF-200 ALA. The slightly lower recurrence rates after BF-200 ALA treatment compared with MAL treatment enhanced the better treatment outcome due to the significantly superior efficacy.

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