Review article

Topical photodynamic therapy in clinical dermatology

Article first published online: 22 Jun 2004
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2004.05940.x

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Summary

The growing incidence of cutaneous malignancies each year necessitates the development of new and more effective methods for both the diagnosis and the treatment of cancerous lesions, while assuring better cosmetic results and improving patient satisfaction. With that in mind, the use of topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been explored in the treatment as well as the diagnosis of various cutaneous malignancies. Using the intrinsic cellular haem biosynthetic pathway and principles of photoillumination, topical PDT carries the goal of selectively targeting abnormal cells, while preserving the normal surrounding structures. This paper will discuss the various applications and data on the use of topical PDT in dermatology.

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