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Analysis of photosensitivity in Japanese cancer-bearing patients receiving photodynamic therapy with porfimer sodium (PhotofrinTM)

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A major disadvantage of a new cancer treatment, porfimer sodium (PhotofrinTM)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PF-PDT), is photosensitivity for several weeks after cessation of the treatment. To characterize persistent sensitivity to visible light following PF-PDT, phototestings were performed in 59 Japanese cancer-bearing patients with a slide projector lamp 3 weeks or more after the treatment. The duration of photosensitivity was analyzed in relation to the patients’ sex, skin phototype (SPT), site of tumor and liver function. There was no correlation of the photosensitivity persistency with the site of cancers and the function of liver. However, female subjects needed significantly longer recovery periods than male subjects from potential photosensitivity after PF-PDT. Patients with SPT2 were significantly more sensitive than patients with SPT3 and 4. These results suggest that the prolonged photosensitivity occurs after PF-PDT especially in female patients and in cases with a lighter SPT. Such patients should be carefully followed up for post-PDT photosensitivity.
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Keywords: excimer dye laser; photodynamic therapy; photosensitivity; phototesting; porfimer sodium (PhotofrinTM); skin phototype

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, 2: Department of Endoscopic & Photodynamic Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan

Publication date: 2001-10-01

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