• basal cell carcinoma;
  • photodynamic therapy;
  • photoheme;
  • systemic photosensitizer


Background and Objectives

We aimed to treat different pathologic types of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) using photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Study Design/Materials and Methods

Thirty lesions in six patients underwent PDT. The photosensitizer used was Photoheme, a hematoporphyrin derivative IX. It was injected intravenously at the dose of 2–3.25 mg/kg. After 24 hours, the lesions were illuminated by laser light (λ = 632 nm, light exposure dose = 100–200 J/cm2). Lesions were evaluated pre and post-operatively and at follow-up sessions (of up to 6 months).


After a single session of PDT, the average response rate in different histopathologic kinds of basal cell carcinoma (e.g., ulcerative, superficial, nodular, and pigmented forms) were 100%, 62%, 90%, and 14%, respectively. In patients who responded completely, the cosmetic results were excellent and there were no recurrence at 6th month of follow-up.


Although PDT seems to be an effective treatment modality for superficial, ulcerative, and nodular BCCs, it is not recommended for pigmented lesions. Lasers Surg. Med. 36:377–382, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.