Pharmacokinetic studies on 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX accumulation in tumours and normal tissues

Cancer Lett. 1997 Jan 30;112(2):225-31. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(96)04576-4.


Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) for in vivo point monitoring and fluorescence microscopy incorporating a CCD camera were used to study the fluorescence distribution of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) in tumours. Fluorescence in a chemically-induced adenocarcinoma in the liver of rats and in an aggressive basal cell carcinoma in a patient were studied after intravenous injection of ALA at a dose of 30 mg/kg body weight. The LIF technique demonstrated slightly more ALA-induced PpIX fluorescence in the tumour than in the surrounding normal liver and abdominal muscle of rats. The visible parts of the human basal cell carcinoma exhibited strong ALA-induced fluorescence, while this fluorescence was much weaker in the necrotic areas of the tumour and in the surrounding normal skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemically induced
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / metabolism*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / metabolism*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Protoporphyrins / biosynthesis
  • Protoporphyrins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred WF
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Protoporphyrins
  • Aminolevulinic Acid
  • protoporphyrin IX