Photodynamic therapy in superficial basal cell carcinoma treatment

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2019 Sep:27:428-432. doi: 10.1016/j.pdpdt.2019.07.017. Epub 2019 Jul 23.


Basal cell cancer (BCC) is an epithelial neoplasm that arises from basal cells, which constitute the lower layer of the epidermis. Global statistics have shown the progressive increase in the incidence of skin cancer in several countries. The cumulative exposure to solar radiation (ultraviolet B) in the first two decades of life represents the critical risk for the disease. Preclinical and clinical trials have shown photodynamic therapy (PDT) as a promising innovation for treatment of skin cancers, especially to the non-melanoma group. The authors reviewed trials with photodynamic therapy in superficial basal cell carcinoma with different photosensitizers to better evaluate how PDT modifies the natural history of sBCC. We conclude trials should not assess only the immediate efficacy but the main goal of long-term effectiveness of the protocols in order to generate best evidence for clinical practice.

Keywords: Basal cell carcinoma; Clinical trials; Nanomedicine; Photodynamic therapy; Photosensitizers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Humans
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Photosensitizing Agents / adverse effects
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species