PDT Photodynamic Therapy was developed to treat skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, BCC) and precancerous skin lesions such as actinic keratosis (AK). BCC and AK are common skin conditions resulting from excessive exposure of skin to sunlight.
The incidence of these skin conditions is particularly high in Australia, and increasing every year.
In Australia there are approximately 175,000 new cases of BCCs every year, with an equivalent figure of 2 million AKs.
A cream that is applied topically after limited preparation of the lesion. Following application, the cream is left on the lesion for a certain time period (normally three hours), to allow the active ingredient to be absorbed into the target cells. The active ingredient in PDT which is converted into a photosensitiser inside the cancerous cell. The photosensitiser accumulates selectively in these cells. Once the three-hour period has elapsed, the area of skin selected for treatment is illuminated by red light for approximately ten minutes. The red light excites the photosensitiser, producing cytotoxic singlet oxygen, which destroys the cancerous cells.
The key characteristic of red light is its ability to effectively penetrate human tissue, improving the ability of the treatment to address thicker lesions.
- Highly effective at killing cancer cells selectively
- Superior cosmetic outcome, does not burn or scar
- Little to no side effects
- The procedure can be repeated if necessary without complication
- Simple and cost effective procedure
- Topical treatment means low systemic uptake