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Volume 10 Supplement 1

de Senectute: Age and Health Forum

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The medical treatment of the actinic keratosis and the skin tumours: photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Though the experimental studies on the activation of “photodynamic” medications was only published 1999, the FDA approved the use of the ALA (Aminolevulinic) in the dermatologic field.

In substance, the PDT by using photosensitive medicines at a topical level (ALA and MAL), a luminous source with an appropriate wavelength for their activation, set the formation of protoporphyrin IX and when it returns to its native state, reacts with molecular oxygen and forms reactive species like the “singoletto” oxygen.

The formation of this substance is to the base of the fall events that may lead to the destruction of the cellule through the:

  • apoptosis, the damage of the mitochondrial and cell membranes

  • damage of the endothelium from the oxygen radicals

  • inflammatory process

  • induction of the immune answer

The PDT is a valid alternative to chirurgic treatment for the basocellular epitelioma and actinic keratosis when subsist particular health conditions of the patient or when the number and the centre of the wounds make the chirurgic act hard to be applied.

After personal experiences have been reported, we will speak of the advantages and disadvantages of the method and for which patients this cure is recommended.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Provenzano, E., Spadafora, S. The medical treatment of the actinic keratosis and the skin tumours: photodynamic therapy (PDT). BMC Geriatr 10 (Suppl 1), L44 (2010).

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