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Photodynamic therapy of multiple nonmelanoma skin cancers with verteporfin and red light-emitting diodes: two-year results evaluating tumor response and cosmetic outcomes.

Author(s): Lui H, Hobbs L, Tope WD, Lee PK, Elmets C, Provost N, Chan A, Neyndorff H, Su XY, Jain H, Hamzavi I, McLean D, Bissonnette R

Affiliation(s): Division of Dermatology, University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada. hlui@interchange.ubc.ca

Publication date & source: 2004-01, Arch Dermatol., 140(1):26-32.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Clinical Trial, Phase II; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Efficient treatment of patients with multiple synchronous nonmelanoma skin cancers represents a therapeutic challenge. OBJECTIVE: To study the safety and efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin and red light in the treatment of multiple nonmelanoma skin cancers. DESIGN: Open-label, randomized, multicenter, dose-ranging phase 2 study conducted at 4 North American university-based dermatology clinics. PATIENTS: Fifty-four patients with 421 multiple nonmelanoma skin cancers including superficial and nodular basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen disease). METHODS: A single intravenous infusion of 14 mg/m(2) of verteporfin followed 1 to 3 hours later by exposure of tumors to 60, 120, or 180 J/cm(2) of red light (688 +/- 10 nm) from a light-emitting diode panel. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pathologic response of treated sites was assessed at 6 months. Clinical and cosmetic responses were assessed and graded at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after verteporfin PDT, with optional follow-up visits at 12, 18, and 24 months. RESULTS: The histopathologic response, defined as absence of tumor on biopsy specimens 6 months after verteporfin PDT, ranged from 69% at 60 J/cm(2) to 93% at 180 J/cm(2). At 24 months of follow-up (276 tumors in 31 patients), the clinical complete response rate ranged from 51% at 60 J/cm(2) to 95% at 180 J/cm(2). No significant systemic adverse events were observed; most events occurred at the treated tumor sites and included events such as pain. Overall, 65% (95% confidence interval, 58%-71%) of tumors were judged to have good to excellent cosmesis at 24 months. CONCLUSION: A single course of verteporfin PDT showed treatment benefit for patients with multiple nonmelanoma skin cancers.

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