PDT is a non-surgical procedure for treating skin cancers and other conditions which is performed in our office. It involves a simple preparation of the lesions including the application of special light activated cream which is left on for about 3 hours following which time the area is exposure to a special red light.
The technique has been approved by FDA, Health Canada and by European health regulatory authorizes, for the treatment of superficial or nodular BCC, squamous cell carcinoma in situ also known as Bowen's disease and AK (actinic keratosis) also called solar and senile keratosis.
Although the concept of PDT has been around for many years, perfecting the process has finally become a reality with the development of the highly selective topical PDT agent. When the cream is applied to the skin, it results in the selective accumulation of photoactive porphyrins in the neoplastic (abnormal) cells.
When the skin in then exposed to visible cold red light using the Aktilite® CL128 LED lamp the cellular membranes of the abnormal cells are damaged. The surrounding normal cells does not accumulate the photoactive porphyrins is not affected by the light. Due to the selective nature of PDT treatment, healthy tissue is left unharmed. Following the treatment the treated area of skin will appear red as if it was sun-burnt.
Over the next 7-10 days new healthy cells regenerate from the basal cell layer. The superficial layers of skin will dry and peel similarly to that of a sun-burn. Healing occurs without any scars. The cosmetic outcome is superior to that following treatment with liquid nitrogen therapy and surgery.
PDT is also being used (off label) to treat acne, acne rosacea, keloid scars, psoriasis and for photorejuvenation (removal of wrinkles and lesions arising from sun damage).
This is one of the reasons why PDT is the preferred treatment option of both patients and clinicians.