Topical photodynamic therapy of murine non-melanoma skin carcinomas with aluminum phthalocyanine chloride and a diode laser: pharmacokinetics, tumor response and cosmetic outcomes

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2008 Apr;24(2):87-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0781.2008.00345.x.


Background/purpose: Topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) is potentially useful for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer and other skin diseases. We investigated the therapeutic effects of PDT using topical application of aluminum phthalocyanine chloride (AlClPc) and a diode laser emitting at 670 nm in murine non-melanoma skin carcinomas.

Methods: AlClPc solution (0.7% w/v) was applied to tumors in mice for 1-6 h. The penetration depth and the optimum drug-light interval were assessed using pharmacokinetic studies. Then, PDT was performed on a murine model of non-melanoma skin cancer using seven different combinations of therapeutic parameters (fluence rate and energy dose).

Results: Pharmacokinetic studies revealed that AlClPc was absorbed 40 times more and penetrated 19 times deeper in tumors than normal skin. PDT using AlClPc (0.7% w/v) and a diode laser (75 mW/cm(2), 150 J/cm(2)) resulted in complete tumor remission in 60% of the mice, excellent cosmetic outcomes and growth retardation of tumors with partial remission.

Conclusions: The results indicate that AlClPc-PDT is an effective treatment for non-melanoma skin carcinomas in experimental mouse models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Indoles / administration & dosage*
  • Indoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Organometallic Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Organometallic Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • Indoles
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • chloroaluminum phthalocyanine