Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

What is Photodynamic Therapy?

PDT is a non-invasive method for treating superficial forms of white skin cancer and its precursors. Cancer cells can be selectively destroyed by absorbing so-called porphyrin derivatives into the cell and then irradiating them with an appropriate light source (so-called phototoxic reaction).

Behandlung eines weißen Hautkrebses mithilfe einer photodynamischen Therapie

How does photodynamic therapy work?

If this is the case and PDT therapy is possible, the affected areas are first roughened and then the photosensitizing substance is applied to the skin areas which are to be treated. The substance is either 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) or methylaminolevulinate, which are used in the form of a gel. These areas must then be covered with a bandage for 3 hours, completely protected from light, so that the substance can penetrate the tumor cells.

After 3 hours, the patient can be released in the meantime, the bandage is removed, and the areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Now the actual treatment follows: The affected skin area is irradiated for 20 minutes with a special treatment lamp (preferably 633nm red light).

The irradiation causes a local inflammatory reaction with reddening, similar to sunburn (blisters, crusts). More rarely, stronger inflammatory reactions with swelling can occur, which usually subside quickly through local treatment with cortisone ointments.

What is a Daylight PDT?

Daylight PDT uses daylight as the light source for the irradiation.

Immediately after applying the active substance, the patient must be exposed to daylight for 2-3 hours. The active substance is then removed again.

For a good treatment success, there should be no dense clouds. In bad weather, daylight PDT can also be performed in rooms with special daylight lighting (indoor daylight PDT).

Behandlung eines weißen Hautkrebses mithilfe einer photodynamischen Therapie

Individual consultation

Individual consultation: We would be happy to consult you extensively on the individual examinations and treatment options in one of our offices. You are also welcome to schedule an appointment online.