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    Off-label PDT protocols show promise in AK treatment


    Tips to minimize risk

    “Of course to minimize risks, physicians must carefully choose candidates who are able to adhere exactly to protocols and educate each patient thoroughly.”

    Discussing other medical applications, Dr. Tsoukas says that PDT has been applied extensively in Europe for the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and nodular BCCs with good results.

    READ: More common sense needed in treating AKs

    “However, PDT is strictly contraindicated for micronodular invasive and morphea form BCCs as well as invasive squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs),” she adds.

    “And hyperkeratotic and persistent lesions in patients at high risk for non-melanoma skin cancers must always be biopsied and examined histopathologically considering these individuals may rapidly develop poorly differentiated invasive SCCs.”

    Potential in acne vulgaris tx

    There is also good evidence showing that PDT is a useful modality for treating inflammatory acne vulgaris. Dr. Tsoukas says the protocol is similar in many ways to the one used for AK treatment, albeit use of a shorter incubation time and a longer light wavelength for the illumination seem to provide the best control of acne flares. 

    ALSO READ: PDT superior to cryotherapy for clearing actinic keratoses

    “PDT can be used in conjunction with long-term topical acne therapies, which should be temporarily stopped during PDT, and it may also be a suitable option for patients with inflammatory acne who cannot tolerate systemic therapies,” she says. 


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