Photodynamic Therapy

What is pdt used for?

PDT can be used in people with certain types of cancer to help them live longer and improve their quality of life. It’s becoming more widely recognized as a valuable treatment option for certain types of localized cancers (cancers that have not spread far from where they started).

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What is Photodynamic Therapy?

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a skin treatment that destroys precancerous spots called actinic keratosis and is performed with a topical photosensitizing agent, known as 5-aminolevulinic acid or ALA. When applied to the skin, ALA accumulates inside the precancerous cells selectively and causes them to become sensitive to light. The ALA treated skin is then exposed to blue light, resulting in the destruction of actinic keratoses.

Why use PDT for treatment of actinic keratoses?

PDT is an effective field treatment for prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers, especially in organ transplant recipients who are immunosuppressed. Subclinical actinic keratoses may develop into invasive squamous cell carcinoma, without classic progression into squamous cell carcinoma in situ. Because we do not know which actinic keratosis will develop into squamous cell carcinoma, all actinic keratoses should be treated.