Background: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been successfully applied in clinical settings to destroy neoplasms, but the efficacy of such a treatment is dependent on the type of neoplasm and the photosynthesizer used. Here, we perform a clinical assessment of PDT for skin metastases of pigmented melanoma using chlorin e6.
Study design/Materials and methods: PDT with chlorin e6 photosensitizer was administered to 14 patients with skin metastases from melanoma (10 females, four males, mean age 49.6 years). Chlorin e6 at a dose of 5 mg/kg of patient's weight was intravenously injected. The treatment course consisted of two courses of PDT exposure 1 h after intravenous chlorin e6 injection and 24 h post-injection. The light energy density for each skin tumor was 80–120 J/cm2 per treatment, with a light power density of 250–300 mW/cm2.
Results: All skin melanoma metastases that received PDT showed complete regression with no recurrence during the study period. The complete response of all skin metastases from melanoma occurred in eight cases after one PDT treatment. In the remaining six individuals, tumors required multiple PDT courses prior to complete regression. No cases of photodermatitis were registered. The Karnofsky performance scale score of the patients with skin metastases from melanoma showed no significant difference before and after PDT. No patients had significant changes in blood cell counts that would indicate chlorin e6 systemic toxic effect. Blood chemistry and urinalysis did not show any evidence of chlorin e6 renal and hepatic injury.
Conclusions: PDT with chlorin e6 for skin metastases from melanoma is effective and well tolerated. Further clinical investigation of PDT with chlorin e6 is warranted.