δ-Aminolevulinic Acid and Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy for Treatment of Multiple Basal Cell Carcinomas in Two Patients with Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2004
Volume 30, Issue 7, pages 1054–1061, July 2004
How to Cite
Itkin, A. and Gilchrest, B. A. (2004), δ-Aminolevulinic Acid and Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy for Treatment of Multiple Basal Cell Carcinomas in Two Patients with Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome. Dermatologic Surgery, 30: 1054–1061. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2004.30317.x
- Issue published online: 22 JUN 2004
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2004
Background. Patients with nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome suffer from multiple basal cell carcinomas, requiring numerous surgical procedures that over time leave them with multiple disfiguring scars. Photodynamic therapy with δ-aminolevulinic acid using red light (∼630 nm) sources has been reported as effective in treatment of superficial and small nodular basal cell carcinomas. To our knowledge, the blue light source (417 nm peak irradiance) approved by the FDA for treatment of actinic keratoses has not been used for photodynamic therapy with δ-aminolevulinic acid of basal cell carcinoma.
Objective. We report treatment of two nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome patients, women aged 21 and 47, with 20%δ-aminolevulinic acid solution and 417-nm blue light source (irradiance 10 mW/cm2).
Methods. δ-Aminolevulinic acid was applied topically on lesions 1 to 5 hr before light treatment. Lesions were illuminated with 417±5-nm blue light for 1000 sec (10 J/cm2). Two consecutive treatments 1 week apart were administered as a therapeutic course. Each patient underwent two courses of photodynamic therapy with δ-aminolevulinic acid 2 to 4 months apart. The reported assessment was made 8 months after initial treatment. In most sessions the entire face, rather than visible basal cell carcinomas only, was treated. The treated basal cell carcinomas were clinically subdivided to superficial or nodular type guided by their morphologic features. A total of 9 superficial and 16 nodular basal cell carcinomas on the face and 27 superficial basal cell carcinomas on the lower extremities were treated.
Results. Complete clinical response was observed in 8 of 9 (89%) superficial basal cell carcinomas and 5 of 16 (31%) nodular basal cell carcinomas on the face and in 18 of 27 (67%) of superficial basal cell carcinomas on the lower extremities. The remaining 21 lesions showed partial clinical resolution. No new basal cell carcinomas were observed during the 8-month follow-up period in areas treated with a broad application technique. Resolution of the lesions was accompanied by an excellent cosmetic outcome and decreased prominence of old surgical scars in the more severely affected patient. Treatments were well tolerated, but associated with moderate to severe stinging during illumination.
Conclusion. To our knowledge this is the first use of photodynamic therapy with δ-aminolevulinic acid with 417-nm blue light for treatment of multiple basal cell carcinomas in patients with nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. Our clinical results demonstrate that the blue light reduces cutaneous tumor burden in such patients. Further studies are needed to confirm that broad-area photodynamic therapy with δ-aminolevulinic acid may eradicate subclinical tumors in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome sufferers, as suggested by a strikingly decreased incidence of new basal cell carcinomas in our patients.