Photodynamic therapy with benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring A and red light (PDT-BPD) has been used to treat human choroidal hemangiomas, and may be useful for cutaneous vascular lesions. The potential for PDT-BPD to inhibit selectively vascular tumor growth was tested in a mouse angiosarcoma model, of which the tumor growth mimics the proliferative phase of hemangiomas. Vascular tumors arising after intradermal injection of immortalized murine endothelial cells were exposed to 50 to 150 J per cm2 of 690 nm laser light 15 min after intravenous injection of 1 mg per kg BPD. Tumor volume and gross response were followed after PDT-BPD and compared with control tumors receiving no treatment, light alone, or BPD alone. At 2 wk, hematoxylin-eosin and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling stained tumor sections was performed. There was a selective, fluence-dependent inhibition of tumor growth after PDT-BPD (p< or =0.05), typically with eradication of tumors exposed to higher fluences. A common effect was the replacement of tumor by small scar. Surrounding PDT-BPD exposed normal skin showed no changes. Based on these results, we conclude that PDT-BPD can lead to selective eradication of these tumors. Further studies investigating the efficacy of PDT-BPD for human hemangiomas are warranted.