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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

The application of Levulan®-based photodynamic therapy with imiquimod in the treatment of recurrent basal cell carcinoma

Beata Osiecka, Kamil Jurczyszyn, Piotr Ziółkowski

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(2): PI5-9

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.882449

Available online:

Published: 2012-02-01


Background:    Common skin tumors like basal- and squamous-cell carcinoma present a serious problem in modern medicine. Exposure to ultraviolet solar radiation is the main cause of these lesions. Since application of Aldara® and PDT separately is well documented, we decided to use both methods together.
        The aim of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of local photodynamic therapy supplemented with topical application of Aldara® in basal-cell carcinoma.
    Material/Methods:    Thirty-four patients ages 50 to 68 years were enrolled to the trial and underwent PDT treatment. Each case of BCC was histopathologically confirmed. Ten patients were subjected to local Levulan®-PDT and placebo (Eucerin as vehicle cream), and 24 patients were subjected to Levulan®-PDT and imiquimod. Photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) was used to detect and visualize suspicious foci (including cancer lesions).
    Results:    In the group of patients who were treated using Levulan®-PDT and placebo, 6 patients (60%) were totally cured and 4 lesions (40%) significantly decreased in size. In the group of patients treated with Levulan®-PDT and imiquimod, 18 lesions totally disappeared (75%), 6 lesions significantly diminished, and in 1 patient small foci of previously excised BCC developed again in scar tissue 10 month after the first control examination.
    Conclusions:    Cure was achieved without any scarring and with very good cosmetic effects. Although this is the preliminary report, the presented modification of PDT seems to be reasonable and promising in treating basal-cell carcinoma.

Keywords: Photosensitizing Agents - therapeutic use, Photochemotherapy, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Carcinoma, Basal Cell - drug therapy, Aminolevulinic Acid - therapeutic use, Skin Neoplasms - drug therapy