Consensus recommendations for the treatment of basal cell carcinomas in Gorlin syndrome with topical methylaminolaevulinate-photodynamic therapy

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014 May;28(5):626-32. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12150. Epub 2013 Apr 13.


Background: Patients with Gorlin syndrome develop multiple basal cell carcinomas (BCC), for which treatment is often difficult. Methylaminolevulinate-photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT) is approved for the treatment of superficial and nodular BCCs in Canada and several European countries.

Objectives: To establish consensus recommendations for the use of MAL-PDT in patients with Gorlin syndrome.

Methods: The Gorlin consensus panel was comprised of 7 dermatologists who had treated a total of 83 patients with Gorlin syndrome using MAL-PDT. Consensus was developed based on the personal experience of the expert and results of literature review (on PUBMED using the keywords 'MAL' and 'PDT' and 'Gorlin' or 'naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome').

Results: Consensus was reached among the experts and the literature review identified 9 relevant reports. The experts considered MAL-PDT a generally effective and safe therapy for treatment of BCC in Gorlin syndrome. For superficial BCC (sBCC), all sizes can be treated, and in nodular BCC (nBCC), better efficacy can be achieved in thinner lesions (<2 mm in thickness). MAL-PDT treatment schedule should be performed according to labelling although in individual cases, it may be adapted and performed on a monthly basis based on clinical assessment. Follow-up should be related to frequency of recurrence, and severity, number and location of lesions. Multiple lesions and large areas may be treated during the same session; however, adequate pain management should be considered.

Conclusions: MAL-PDT is safe and effective in patients with Gorlin syndrome. Utilization of these recommendations may improve efficacy and clearance rates in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / complications
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Consensus*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management
  • Photochemotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / complications
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Aminolevulinic Acid