Routine double treatments of superficial basal cell carcinomas using aminolaevulinic acid-based photodynamic therapy

Br J Dermatol. 2000 Dec;143(6):1270-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2000.04000.x.


Background: Superficial basal cell carcinomas of the skin (sBCC) often respond poorly to single-treatment aminolaevulinic acid-based photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT), with a number of reports indicating a relapse rate of 50% or more.

Objectives: To determine whether a second treatment at seven days can improve the response.

Methods: Twenty-six lesions were treated twice with ALA-PDT, with an interval of 7 days between the two treatment sessions.

Results: We observed a complete response rate of 100% 1 month after treatment. Only one lesion relapsed (16 months post-PDT), a relapse rate of 4% (median follow up 27 months; range 15-45 months). Cosmetic results were excellent.

Conclusions: We consider routine double treatments with ALA-PDT to be an effective approach to the management of sBCC, particularly those located in anatomically difficult, or cosmetically sensitive, sites.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aged
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine, Prilocaine Drug Combination
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Ointments
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Prilocaine / administration & dosage
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Lidocaine, Prilocaine Drug Combination
  • Ointments
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Prilocaine
  • Aminolevulinic Acid
  • Lidocaine