Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a frequent skin malignancy, and accounts for approximately 75% of all non-melanoma skin cancers, affecting mostly the head and neck in fair-skinned individuals.
Simple surgical excision is currently regarded as the treatment of choice; however, cosmetic outcome is often less than optimal. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment modality, involving the activation of a photosensitizing agent by light, leading to the formation of reactive oxygen species. This process results in local tissue destruction and may, therefore, offer an attractive alternative to surgery. Application of methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) leads to the selective formation of photoactive porphyrins in tumor cells. Previous clinical experience has been promising and patients with nodular BCC (nBCC) were recruited for participation in this multicenter, randomized trial to assess the efficacy, safety and cosmetic outcome of MAL-PDT.
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